U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Kidney Disease A-Z

Kidney disease topics are listed in alphabetical order. Select a letter to locate a disease or condition, diagnostic test, or anatomy topic.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) conducts, supports, and coordinates research on many of the most serious diseases affecting public health. The NIDDK cannot provide medical advice for individuals. The information provided here is informed by NIDDK research, reviewed by doctors, and provided to help you understand more about the diseases and conditions you or your loved ones may face. The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health, the medical research agency of the United States.​
​​
​​​
woman talking
A B C D E F G H I 
J
 K L M N O P Q R S T U V W 
X
 Y 
Z
 

A


Acquired Cystic Kidney Disease

Explains the causes of acquired cystic kidney disease (ACKD), a common condition in people with kidney failure who are treated with dialysis.


Albuminuria


Albuminuria and CKD (for health care professionals)

Chronic kidney disease is generally progressive and irreversible, but there are steps providers and patients can take to slow progression. Read about nutritional, lifestyle, and medical interventions.

Alport Syndrome

  • Glomerular Diseases

  • Amyloidosis and Kidney Disease

    Describes primary amyloidosis and dialysis-related amyloidosis, diseases that affect the kidneys.

    Analgesic Nephropathy (Painkillers and the Kidneys)

    Discusses acute renal failure caused by analgesic use in people with risk factors such as advanced age or heavy alcohol use. Explains how daily use of analgesics over long periods may lead to chronic kidney disease

    Anatomy of the Kidneys


    Anemia and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.

    Anemia in Chronic Kidney Disease

    Explains the kidneys’ role in making red blood cells and how kidney disease can lead to anemia. Discusses the diagnosis and treatment of anemia in kidney disease.

    Angiotensin Receptor Blockers (ARBs)


    Angiotensin-converting Enzyme (ACE) Inhibitors


    Arteriovenous (AV) Fistula


    Arteriovenous (AV) Graft



    At Risk for Kidney Disease?

    Living with diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease? Learn how these diseases raise your risk for kidney disease and how to talk to your healthcare provider about your kidney health.


    B

    Blood Glucose Control and CKD (for health care professionals)

    Chronic kidney disease is generally progressive and irreversible, but there are steps providers and patients can take to slow progression. Read about nutritional, lifestyle, and medical interventions.



    Blood Pressure Control and CKD (for health care professionals)

    Chronic kidney disease is generally progressive and irreversible, but there are steps providers and patients can take to slow progression. Read about nutritional, lifestyle, and medical interventions.




    C


    Cardiovascular Disease and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.

    Childhood Kidney Stones


    Childhood Nephrotic Syndrome

    Describes the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of nephrotic syndrome in children for parents and caregivers.

    Children and Kidney Disease

    Some diseases and conditions put children at risk for kidney disease. Learn about the risk factors, urine test, and treatment for kidney disease in children.


    Children At Risk for Kidney Disease

    This brochure explains risk factors for kidney disease, the importance of getting their child's urine tested, and the availability of treatment.

    Choosing Not to Treat with Dialysis or Transplant

    If your kidneys fail, dialysis can help you feel better and live longer. Learn about the two types of dialysis and how dialysis filters wastes and water from your blood

    Chronic Kidney Disease and Diet: Assessment, Management, and Treatment (Guide) (PDF, 1.30 MB)

    For general practice dietitians providing medical nutrition therapy to patients who are not on dialysis.


    Chronic Kidney Disease: What Does it Mean for Me?

    This brochure explains the basics of chronic kidney disease for people who were recently diagnosed.

    Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder

    Explains how working kidneys contribute to healthy bones and why kidney disease can lead to bone problems. Covers diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

    CKD & Nutrition for Dietetic Educators

    Registered dietitians, these five training modules can prepare you to provide medical nutrition therapy to CKD patients.

    CKD and Drug Dosing: Information for Providers

    This fact sheet serves as a reference for providers on estimating kidney function for prescription medication dosage.

    CKD Diet Consulting (Medical Nutrition Therapy) Referral Form

    Diet therapy is critical for patients with chronic kidney disease. Primary care providers, fill out this form to share important patient data with the consulting dietitian.

    CKD Nutrition Management Training Program

    Registered dietitians, these five training modules can prepare you to provide medical nutrition therapy to CKD patients.

    Communicating Difficult Messages to Patients

    This tool helps educators create and implement six lesson plans for counseling patients with chronic kidney disease about managing their disease and preparing for rental replacement therapy.


    Creatinine (for health care professionals)

  • Quick Reference on UACR and GFR

  • D


    Diabetes and Kidney Disease


    Diabetes Inspidus

    Explains how working kidneys contribute to healthy bones and why kidney disease can lead to bone problems. Covers diagnosis and treatment of chronic kidney disease.

    Dialysis

    If your kidneys fail, dialysis can help you feel better and live longer. Learn about the two types of dialysis and how dialysis filters wastes and water from your blood


    Diet and Lifestyle Changes

    You may need to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle to help you live a healthier and longer life. These diet and lifestyle changes are good for your heart and for your kidneys.



    E

    Eat Right to Feel Right on Hemodialysis


    Eating Right for Kidney Health: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

    People with kidney disease may need to make changes to their diet to help them live a healthier, longer life. This fact sheet provides an overview of the basics of nutrition and CKD.

    Ectopic Kidney

    Explains the causes and complications of ectopic kidney, a birth defect in which a kidney is located in an abnormal position. Describes the diagnostic procedures and treatment options for the condition.

    eGFR (for health care professionals)

    Estimated GFR test results can provide insight into a patient's kidney function. Read about the limitations of GFR and why the MDRD Study equation is recommended for estimating GFR from serum creatinine in adults.


    Erectile Dysfunction

    Describes the physiology of erection and the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of erectile dysfunction.

    Estimate Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)

    Estimated GFR test results can provide insight into a patient's kidney function. Read about the limitations of GFR and why the MDRD Study equation is recommended for estimating GFR from serum creatinine in adults.

    Explaining Your Kidney Test Results: A Tear-off Pad for Clinical Use

    This tear-off pad includes helpful talking points and descriptive images to help providers explain urine albumin and estimated glomerular filtration rate test results to patients.

    F

    Facing the Challenges of Chronic Kidney Disease in Children

    Describes the psychosocial impact chronic kidney disease can have on children and their families.

    Fallen Bladder


    Federal Response to CKD

    Many Federal agencies lead an aspect of the multi-faceted and interconnected response to CKD. This table provides summaries of these agencies' current CKD-related activities and contacts for each.

    Financial Help for Treatment of Kidney Failure

    Briefly describes the Federal Government’s insurance program, which covers much of the cost of dialysis treatments and transplantation expenses.


    Focal Segmental Glomerulosclerosis


    Food Label Reading: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

    People with kidney disease may need to make changes to their diet to live a healthier, longer life. This fact sheet provides tips on reading and understanding food labels.

    For People with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure: Get Checked for Kidney Disease

    This brochure explains the risk factors for kidney disease and the importance of getting tested for people who are at risk.

    G

    Glomerular Diseases

    Defines the two major categories of glomerular diseases––glomerulosclerosis and glomerulonephritis––and describes how they interfere with kidney function.

    Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) Calculators

    Use NKDEP's GFR calculators to estimate kidney function for adults and children.

    Glomerulonephritis


    Glomerulosclerosis


    Goodpasture Syndrome

    Summarizes the symptoms and treatment for this autoimmune condition.

    Growth Failure in Children with Chronic Kidney Disease

    Describes growth failure in children with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Discusses how CKD affects the child and the available treatment options for parents and caregivers.

    H


    Helping Diabetes Educators Care for Patients with Kidney Disease

    Diabetes educators play a crucial role on the health care team and are critical to improving early detection and slowing the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).


    Hemodialysis: Dose and Adequacy

    Explains the formulas used to determine whether a hemodialysis dose is adequate.

    Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Children

    Explains how the condition develops after Escherichia coli infection in the digestive tract and describes treatment.

    Henoch-Schönlein Purpura

    Describes the signs and symptoms of Henoch-Schönlein Purpura, an autoimmune disease that affects mostly children between the ages of 2 and 6. Explains possible long-term consequences, including kidney disease.

    High Blood Pressure and Children: What Parents Need to Know

    This brochure explains high blood pressure in children to parents and provides steps to keep their child healthy.


    High Blood Pressure and Kidney Disease

    Reviews the basics of high blood pressure and the effect it has on the kidneys. Discusses the signs and symptoms of kidney disease and ways to prevent it.

    Home Hemodialysis

    Discusses the advantages of home hemodialysis over conventional hemodialysis performed in a clinic. Explains the training requirements and logistical details for performing hemodialysis at home.


    Hypertension and Kidney Disease


    I

    IGA Nephropathy

    Defines IgA nephropathy, an autoimmune disease that affects the kidneys. Discusses causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

    Immunizations and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.


    Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome

    Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of interstitial cystitis (IC). Defines the two types of IC, ulcerative and nonulcerative.

    Is My Child at Risk for Kidney Disease?

    This brochure explains risk factors for kidney disease, the importance of getting their child's urine tested, and the availability of treatment.

    K

    Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

    Learn what steps you can take to keep your kidneys (and the rest of your body) healthy.

    Kidney Biopsy

    Describes kidney biopsy and possible reasons for performing this diagnostic test. Outlines the preparations for and explains what patients can expect during and after the test.

    Kidney Biopsy



    Kidney Disease (from the National Center for Health Statistics)

    Provides data on morbidity, mortality and other links to organizations on Kidney Disease in United States.

    Kidney Disease Basics

    Learn how your kidneys work, what kidney disease means, and how diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to kidney disease over time.

    Kidney Disease Education (for health care professionals)

    Effective management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) requires both prepared health care providers and informed patients. NKDEP has developed numerous resources to expand CKD knowledge among providers.

    Kidney Disease of Diabetes

    Explains kidney disease, including causes and its progression to kidney failure. Highlights the findings of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial as they relate to kidney disease.

    Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States

    Provides statistics about kidney disease, including prevalence and survival rates.

    Kidney Disease: What African Americans Need to Know

    This brochure highlights key facts about the impact of kidney disease on African Americans and statistics related to kidney disease in the United States.

    Kidney Dysplasia

    Describes kidney dysplasia, a condition in which one or both kidneys do not develop normally in the womb. Discusses causes, complications, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term outlook.

    Kidney Failure

    If your kidneys fail, there are treatments that can help you live a longer, healthier life. Learn about working with your health care provider to choose a treatment that is right for you.

    Kidney Failure: Choosing a Treatment That's Right for You

    Provides a broad overview of the treatment options for a person facing kidney failure. Introduces hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and kidney transplantation, with a general description of each method and a list of pros and cons.

    Kidney Failure: Choosing a Treatment That's Right for You - Chart

    Chart that summarizes three treatment options.

    Kidney Failure: Eat Right to Feel Right on Hemodialysis

    Explains in an easy-to-read format how food affects hemodialysis patients and describes the role of fluids, potassium, phosphorus, protein, sodium, calories, and vitamins and minerals.

    Kidney Failure: What to Expect

    Describes the complications of kidney failure and its treatment for patients who have just started dialysis.



    Kidney Stone Prevention Diet


    Kidney Stones in Adults

    Discusses the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of kidney stones. Reviews prevention strategies and treatment options, as well as information on current research.

    Kidney Stones in Children

    Discusses the causes, symptoms, and diagnosis of kidney stones in children. Describes treatments and steps for kidney-stone prevention.

    Kidney Transplant

    While a kidney transplant is a treatment for kidney failure, it is not a cure, and it is also not for everyone. Learn more about kidney transplants and what it could mean for you or a loved one.


    L

    Living with Kidney Disease

    If you've been diagnosed with kidney disease, you probably have a lot of questions. Learn how to monitor your kidney health, make healthy lifestyle choices, and work with your health care providers to manage your health.

    Lupus Nephritis

    Introduces systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune condition. Describes the symptoms of kidney problems caused by SLE.

    M

    Make the Kidney Connection: Food Tips and Healthy Eating Ideas

    This fact sheet lists healthy eating tips and recipes and has links to other resources.

    Making Sense of CKD—A Concise Guide for Managing Chronic Kidney Disease in the Primary Care Setting (Guide) (PDF, 3.66 MB)

    Helps busy health care professionals manage adult CKD patients in the primary care setting.

    Malnutrition and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.


    Medical Tests for Kidney Function


    Medicines and Kidney Disease

    If you are living with kidney disease, it's important to understand what the medicines you take can do to your body and kidneys. Learn about the medicines you may need to take and the ones you need to avoid.

    Medullary Sponge Kidney

    Defines medullary sponge kidney, a birth defect where changes occur in the tubules, or tiny tubes, inside a fetus' kidneys. Describes complications, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment.

    Membranous Nephropathy


    Mineral and Bone Disorder of Chronic Kidney Disease


    Mineral and Bone Disorders and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.

    Minimal Change Disease


    Monitoring Your Kidney Health

    Your GFR and urine albumin results will help you and your provider keep track of your kidney health.


    Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney (MCDK)


    N

    National Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet 2014 (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

    Provides information on prevalence, health consequences and resources on chronic kidney disease.

    National Kidney Month

    March is National Kidney Month. Read about the many things you can do to recognize National Kidney Month in your community, with your family, or with your faith organization.

    Nephrology Referral Form

    Collaborative management between primary care providers (PCP) and nephrologists may improve patient outcomes. Primary care physicians, fill out this form to share important patient data with the consulting nephrologist.

    Nephrotic Syndrome in Adults

    Discusses the causes, symptoms, and treatment for nephrotic syndrome in adults.

    Nephrotic Syndrome in Children



    Nutrition for Advanced Chronic Kidney Disease in Adults

    Explains how the right diet choices can protect kidney function in the late stages of kidney failure. Discusses ways to moderate protein intake.

    Nutrition for Chronic Kidney Disease in Children

    Explains how kidney disease can affect nutrition needs in children. Provides guidance about nutrient content of foods, including calories, protein, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium.

    Nutrition for Early Chronic Kidney Disease in Adults

    Discusses dietary guidelines for controlling elevated blood glucose and hypertension, the two leading causes of chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal disease.

    O

    Overview of Kidney Disease in Children

    Describes the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of acute and chronic kidney diseases and kidney failure in children.

    P


    Paying for Kidney Failure Treatment

    If your kidneys fail, dialysis can help you feel better and live longer. Learn about the two types of dialysis and how dialysis filters wastes and water from your blood


    Peritoneal Dialysis Dose and Adequacy

    Explains the importance of performing all exchanges. Describes the procedures used to measure how well the dialysis treatments are working.

    Phosphate-Binding Medications and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.

    Phosphorous: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

    People with kidney disease may need to make changes to their diet to help them live a healthier, longer life. This fact sheet provides tips on lowering phosphorous in the diet.


    Polycystic Kidney Disease

    Defines two types of polycystic kidney disease and describes their genetic origins, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as ongoing research.

    Potassium: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

    People with kidney disease may need to make changes to their diet to help them live a healthier, longer life. This fact sheet provides tips on lowering potassium in the diet.

    Preparing for Kidney Failure Treatment

    Talking with your provider about your treatment options ahead of time helps you take charge of your care. Learn about preparing for kidney failure as your kidney disease progresses.

    Prevent diabetes problems: Keep your kidneys healthy

    Explains kidney damage as a complication of diabetes and how kidney disease can be prevented, diagnosed, and treated.

    Professional Education

    Effective management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) requires both prepared health care providers and informed patients. NKDEP has developed numerous resources to expand CKD knowledge among providers.

    Prostatitis: Inflammation of the Prostate

    Defines prostatitis. Describes the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments for chronic prostatitis/pelvic pain syndrome and acute and chronic bacterial prostatitis.

    Protein: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

    People with kidney disease may need to make changes to their diet to help them live a healthier, longer life. This fact sheet provides tips on eating the right amount of protein.

    Proteinuria

    Defines proteinuria and discusses who is at risk. Reviews the signs of proteinuria and provides information about testing procedures and treatment options.

    Pylonephritis: Kidney Infection

    Lists the causes and symptoms of kidney infection. Explains the use of antibiotics to treat infection.

    Q

    Questions and Answers About Diabetes

    This fact sheet answers key questions about diabetes and kidney health.

    Questions and Answers about High Blood Pressure

    This fact sheet answers common questions about high blood pressure and kidney health.

    Questions and Answers About the Kidneys and Kidney Disease

    This fact sheet answers important questions about the risk factors for kidney disease, testing, and what people can do to protect their kidneys.

    Questions to Ask if You Have Kidney Disease

    If you have kidney disease, it's important to talk to your health care providers about your kidney health. These questions can help you get the conversation started.

    Questions to Ask Your Health Care Professional

    If you're at risk for kidney disease, it's important to talk about your kidney health with your health care providers. These questions can help you get the conversation started.

    Quick Reference on UACR and GFR

    This fact sheet presents providers with key information about assessing urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio and estimated glomerular filtration rate to help them evaluate patients for kidney disease.

    R

    Race, Ethnicity and Kidney Disease

    If you are African American, Hispanic, or American Indian, you may be at higher risk for developing kidney failure. Learn about kidney disease in these groups.


    Renal Artery Stenosis

    Explains the causes and complications of renal artery stenosis, a narrowing of one or both of the arteries that supply blood to the kidneys. Describes treatment options, including lifestyle changes, medications, and surgery.



    Renal Dysplasia




    Renal Tubular Acidosis

    Explains the different types of renal tubular acidosis. Outlines diagnostic criteria and treatment options, as well as current research efforts.

    Renovascular Hypertension (RVH)


    Riñones, Tesoros (Kidneys, Treasures) Education Program for Community Health Workers

    The program is designed to help community health workers (CHWs) or “promotores de salud” educate Hispanics living with diabetes about kidney disease and kidney failure.



    S

    Simple Kidney Cysts

    Distinguishes between simple kidney cysts and polycystic kidney disease. Explains diagnostic procedures and treatment options.

    Sodium: Tips for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

    People with kidney disease may need to make changes to their diet to help them live a healthier, longer life. This fact sheet provides tips on lowering sodium in the diet.

    Solitary Kidney

    Explains normal kidney function and the possible causes of solitary kidney. Details the possible effects of solitary kidney and discusses ways to protect remaining kidney function.


    Statistics, Kidney Diseases

    Statistical information on kidney diseases.


    T

    Talking with Your Health Care Professionals

    The most important person on your health care team is you. Get tips for talking with your health care providers and managing your kidney health.

    The Kidneys and How They Work

    Explains what kidneys do and why they are important to maintain life. Describes the internal anatomy of the kidney. This publication is also available in Spanish.

    Treat Complications and Comorbidities

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.

    Treatment Methods for Kidney Disease: Peritoneal Dialysis

    Describes the procedures and supplies required for peritoneal dialysis (PD). Explains the differences between ambulatory and automated PD. Gives instructions for avoiding possible problems.

    Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure in Children

    Describes the treatment options for children with kidney failure, including transplantation, peritoneal dialysis, and hemodialysis.

    Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Hemodialysis

    Details the procedures and equipment involved in hemodialysis. Explains vascular access and dietary issues.

    Treatment Methods for Kidney Failure: Kidney Transplantation

    Gives a step-by-step account of the transplantation process from the initial medical evaluation and placement on a waiting list to surgery, recovery, and maintenance with antirejection medicines.


    U

    UACR (for health care professionals)

  • Urine Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (UACR)

  • Understanding GFR

    Your GFR test result tells you how well your kidneys are working. Learn about the GFR blood test and what the results mean.

    Understanding Urine Albumin

    Your urine albumin test result tells you if your kidneys are damaged. Learn about the urine albumin test and what the results mean.

    United States Renal Data System

    Provides comprehensive statistics on chronic kidney disease and end-stage renal diseases in the United States.

    Urine Albumin

    Urine albumin measurement and reporting is critical to the early detection and treatment of chronic kidney disease. Read about urine albumin standardization issues.

    Urine Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio (UACR) (for health care professionals)

    For many people, albuminuria is the earliest sign of kidney damage. Read why a urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio on a spot urine specimen is the recommended test to assess and monitor urine albumin.

    V

    Vascular Access for Hemodialysis

    Defines vascular access and reviews three access options. Describes what to expect during hemodialysis and lists ways to protect the access site.


    Vitamin D Supplements and CKD (for health care professionals)

    As eGFR declines, complications and comorbidities occur more commonly and are more severe. Read about treating cardiovascular disease, anemia, malnutrition, mineral and bone disorders, and depression.


    W

    What African Americans with Diabetes or High Blood Pressure Need to Know

    This brochure highlights key facts about the impact of kidney disease on African Americans and statistics related to kidney disease in the United States.

    What I need to know about Kidney Failure and How It’s Treated

    Explains what happens when a person’s kidneys fail and describes the treatment methods available.

    What I need to know about Kidney Stones

    Uses plain language and illustrations to describe the symptoms and treatment of kidney stones. This publication is also available in Spanish (KU–163).

    What I need to know about Living with Kidney Failure

    Explains the treatment methods for kidney failure and presents strategies for coping with kidney failure.

    Working with Your Health Care Providers

    If you have kidney disease, you will need to work with many types of health care providers. Learn about the different health care providers you may see and the role they may play in your treatment.

    Y

    Your Kidney Test Results (Fact Sheet)

    This fact sheet was designed for use by health care professionals to help people with kidney disease keep track of their lab values.