What Is the Definition of Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease occurs when certain conditions cause the kidneys to slowly lose function. As the disease progresses, the kidneys become unable to filter waste products from the body. When waste levels become too high, complications such as anemia and high blood pressure arise, according to the National Kidney Foundation.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Those two factors cause about two-thirds of all cases, states the National Kidney Foundation. To treat the disease, patients must first find the underlying cause and treat it. If the CKD progresses all the way to end-stage kidney failure, dialysis and/or a kidney transplant is the only way to treat it, says Mayo Clinic.