Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Hattiesburg Clinic offers comprehensive expertise, diagnostics and treatment options for patients with kidney disease.

Chronic Kidney Disease Overview

The kidneys perform a critical function by filtering and cleaning impurities from your blood, then flushing them out of the body through your urine. Kidney disease happens when one or both of your kidneys fail to filter your blood as they should, allowing extra fluid, waste and electrolytes to build up in your bloodstream.

Stages of kidney disease

Typically, chronic kidney disease is broken into five stages. These stages are assessed based on a blood test that will measure your eGFR (estimated glomerular filtration rate). Patients who meet the criteria for each stage will generally have the following results:

  • Stage 1 Kidney Disease: There is minimal damage to the kidneys, and they still function normally.
  • Stage 2 Kidney Disease: There is mild damage and a slight loss of function, but nothing significant.
  • Stage 3 Kidney Disease: There is mild to moderate kidney damage, and the kidneys have some loss of function.
  • Stage 4 Kidney Disease: Moderate to severe kidney damage is present, and the kidneys are on the brink of end stage kidney failure.
  • Stage 5 Kidney Disease: Kidney damage is very severe, and end stage kidney failure is present or imminent.

What causes chronic kidney disease?

The two most common causes of CKD are high blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes. Around 70% of Americans will develop high blood pressure in their lifetime, and one in 10 Americans have diabetes. Because these conditions are so common, they are the most likely risk factors for kidney disease.

However, kidney disease can occur because of other less common causes including:

  • Genetics – Certain genetic variations can cause individuals to be more likely to develop kidney disease. The most common genetic kidney condition is PKD, explained below.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) – This genetic condition causes cysts to develop on the kidneys which can impact your kidneys’ ability to function over time. Those with PKD should see a nephrologist regularly.
  • Autoimmune conditions – There are many autoimmune conditions that can affect the kidneys. The most common autoimmune disorder that can impact the kidneys is Lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks healthy cells which can sometimes include the kidneys.
  • Damage to the glomeruli – There are several conditions and diseases that can impact the filtration system (glomeruli) within your kidneys which can cause kidney failure.
  • Kidney infections or obstructions – Chronic kidney infections or a prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract can cause permanent damage to the kidneys.

How is chronic kidney disease diagnosed?

Kidney disease is most often discovered in a primary care provider’s office when routine blood work or a urine sample returns with abnormal results including an elevated creatinine (blood marker of kidney function) or protein in the urine. You may also be referred for kidney testing if you have difficulty controlling your blood pressure, because kidney damage can cause high blood pressure that may not respond to diet changes or common medications. If you have lupus or diabetes, you may be referred to a nephrologist by your rheumatologist or endocrinologist, as these conditions can also affect kidney function.

Once you have been referred, any of the following diagnostic tests may be used to determine whether kidney damage is present and how well your kidneys are functioning:

  • Blood tests
  • Urine tests
  • Imaging, including kidney ultrasound
  • Kidney biopsy

How is chronic kidney disease treated?

CKD often cannot be cured, but it can be managed with the goal to slow kidney disease over time. Your nephrologist will create a treatment plan to help address underlying causes, reduce any uncomfortable symptoms and slow the progression of the disease with a goal to head off the need for dialysis, kidney transplant or other complications. Many individuals with controlled CKD can live a normal healthy life if they follow their treatment plan.

Your treatment plan may include:

  • Medication or lifestyle changes to lower high blood pressure, high cholesterol or high blood sugar
  • Medication to reduce swelling and excess fluid build-up in the body
  • Medication to treat anemia
  • Medication to treat osteoporosis
  • Dialysis – a therapeutic treatment that utilizes an artificial kidney “dialyzer” that filters your blood and removes excess fluid from your blood
  • Referral for kidney transplant

Why choose Hattiesburg Clinic?

Our nephrology team focuses on offering comprehensive expertise for chronic kidney disease with emphasis on preventing progression of the disease first. It is our goal to see patients with early-stage kidney disease sooner to help them head off complications and maintain a high quality of life.

For patients who do need more advanced services, Hattiesburg Clinic offers 14+ locations to receive dialysis, including home dialysis options, and consultation for those who may be candidates for a kidney transplant. With more than 450 physicians and 40 different medical specialties, we coordinate your care with your primary care provider and other specialists who can help provide the most comprehensive approach to this complex disease. From vascular surgery to cardiology to endocrinology, Hattiesburg Clinic offers in-house labs and diagnostics, diabetes care, atherosclerosis care and the placement of hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis accesses.

Hattiesburg, MS
Vascular Access Center
5909 Hwy. 49
Ste. 15
Hattiesburg, MS 39402
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Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Hattiesburg, MS
Hattiesburg Clinic - Main
415 S. 28th Ave.
4th Floor
Hattiesburg, MS 39401
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Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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