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Chronic Kidney Disease May Eventually Lead to a Kidney Transplant

Chronic Kidney DiseaseChronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to the progressive loss of function in one or both kidneys. According to the National Kidney Foundation, approximately 26 million adults in the United States have been diagnosed with some degree of CKD. Chronic kidney disease, also known as chronic renal disease, can be brought about by a number of different conditions. Although diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD, others include:

  • Polycystic kidney disease, a condition in which cysts develop on the kidneys and interfere with proper filtration
  • Glomerulonephritis, a group of conditions in which the kidney’s filtration units become severely and irreversibly inflamed
  • Malformations that occur during fetal development, including an abnormality in which urine flow backs up into the kidney, causing recurrent infections
  • Kidney obstructions, including tumors and frequently recurring kidney stones
  • Immunosuppressive diseases, such as lupus

Although these conditions don’t always lead to chronic kidney disease, they can gradually reduce the kidneys’ ability to adequately filter waste products from the blood. This can, in turn, cause several symptoms, including:

  • Swelling in the feet and ankles
  • Puffiness in the face (especially under the eyes)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased need for urination
  • Energy loss
  • Appetite loss
  • Difficulty sleeping and focusing

Patients with mild or moderate kidney disease may be able to manage their symptoms with medications and diet modifications. However, as kidney failure becomes more advanced, patients may require additional therapies, such as dialysis. If these treatments don’t do enough to manage the patient’s kidney failure, a transplant may become a consideration. At Tampa General Hospital, we perform kidney transplants for patients with several critical kidney conditions, including end-stage chronic kidney disease.

A physician-submitted kidney transplant referral form and kidney transplant criteria are used to determine a patient’s eligibility for our transplant waiting list. If a patient appears to be a better candidate for a different form of therapy, we will make a tailored recommendation for his or her unique situation.