In simple terms, kidney disease means your kidneys have become damaged and can no longer perform their key functions properly. It’s a serious condition and it’s important to receive immediate medical care.

There are two forms of kidney disease:

  • Acute kidney disease is known to occur pretty suddenly and over a short period of time, it’s sometimes referred to as acute kidney injury [2].

  • Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition which can get worse over time, sometimes developing into chronic kidney failure [3].

See also: What Is Normal Kidney Function?

What are the symptoms of Kidney Disease?

Acute kidney disease develops rapidly and tends to be more common in those who are already critically ill and hospitalized [4]. Sometimes acute kidney failure may not cause any symptoms.

If symptoms do occur, some common symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Urinating infrequently
  • Fluid retention
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or pressure

Chronic kidney disease refers to the gradual loss of kidney function, in the early stages it’s common for very few signs or symptoms to appear [5].

If symptoms do occur, some common symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Changes in urinating
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Persistent itching

See also: Can Too Much Protein Damage Your Kidneys?

What causes Kidney Disease?

Causes of Acute Kidney Disease

If you have a condition which slows blood flow to your kidneys or have experienced direct damage to your kidneys, you’re more likely to experience acute kidney disease [6].

Some conditions which might cause acute kidney disease include:

  • Blood pressure medications
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Infection
  • Liver failure

Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease mainly occurs as a result of a disease or condition which impairs kidney function which damages the kidneys function over a period of time [7].

Some conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease include:

  • Type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Recurrent kidney infection

See also: Can Medication Damage Your Kidneys?

One of the best ways to find out about your kidney health is through a blood test, you can do this with your doctor or by using an at-home test.

LetsGetChecked’s at home kidney test will indicate how your kidneys are performing by measuring levels of urea, creatinine, and eGFR. High levels of urea, creatinine and a low eGFR can indicate acute or chronic kidney disease. With this test, you can test your kidney health from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you.

See also: How Do You Check Your Kidney Function From Home?


  1. Mayo Clinic Staff. Chronic Kidney Disease. Online:, 2019

  2. American Kidney Fund. Acute Kidney Injury. Online:

  3. NHS. Chronic kidney disease. Online:, 2019

  4. Mayo Clinic Staff. Acute kidney failure. Online:, 2018

  5. Mayo Clinic Staff. Chronic kidney disease. Online:, 2019

  6. Mayo Clinic Staff. Acute kidney failure. Online:, 2018

  7. Mayo Clinic Staff. Chronic kidney disease. Online:, 2019