patient stories
Peritoneal dialysis at
home using Amia
see his story

A Canada-wide cycling
trip with dialysis
see his story

Coping with CKD
thanks to home dialysis
see her story

What is chronic kidney disease (CKD)/chronic renal failure?
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition where your kidneys gradually lose their ability to function correctly. Although CKD is irreversible, it is treatable.
    What do
    kidneys do?

    The kidneys play an important role in your health. Human beings are born with two kidneys, one on each side of the backbone just below the rib cage. Shaped like kidney beans, each kidney is about the size of a small fist and weighs about a quarter of a pound, or 114 grams.

    All you need to stay off treatments is one kidney that works at a minimum of 20%.

    kidney body


    Clean your blood
    and remove extra fluid to form urine
    Keep minerals (sodium, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus) in balance
    Help to control blood pressure
    Help to make red blood cells
    Produce vitamin D to keep bones healthy
    What happens when kidneys slow down or stop working?

    When your kidneys don’t work properly, you may develop kidney failure. Most kidney diseases affect the nephrons, which are the tiny filters inside the kidneys that clean the blood. When this happens, harmful wastes and fluids can build up in your body and affect the body’s balance.

    kidney stop working img2
    Types of kidney disease
    chronic kidney failure
    Chronic kidney failure

    is the gradual loss of kidney function that results from a long-term disease. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the more common type of kidney failure. Although CKD cannot be reversed, it can be treated.

    acute kidney failure
    Acute kidney failure

    is a sudden loss of kidney function resulting from an injury, disease, contrast dye or blood poisoning. Acute kidney failure can usually be reversed within a few weeks if treated quickly.

    End-stage renal disease (ESRD)

    is a condition where the kidneys do not work, or where only very little kidney function is left.

    What causes the kidneys to stop working?

    Kidney failure can be caused by a number of diseases or conditions.

    high blood pressure
    polycystic kidney disease
    injury or trauma
    Symptoms you can feel when your kidneys aren’t working properly

    Symptoms of kidney failure and chronic kidney disease can vary from person to person. Kidney disease is sometimes called a “silent” disease because some people may not feel sick or may not notice their symptoms until their kidneys are no longer removing waste and fluids (urine).

    As the disease gets worse and kidney function slows down, most people experience symptoms of uremia. Uremia means too much urea in the blood.

    Symptoms of uremia include:
    Feeling tired and/or weak
    Swelling of the hands and feet
    Shortness of breath
    You may also experience…
    Loss of appetite
    Bad taste in your mouth
    Nausea or vomiting
    Difficulty sleeping
    Muscle cramps
    Weight loss
    Darkening of the skin