Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease, sometimes known as chronic renal disease, is a medical condition characterized by a gradual loss of kidney function over time. As kidney disease gets worse, wastes can build to high levels in the blood and cause sickness and complications such as high blood pressure, low blood count (anemia), weak bones, poor nutritional health, and nerve damage. Kidney disease also increases the risk of heart and blood vessel disease. These problems may develop slowly over a long period of time. Chronic kidney disease is most commonly caused by diabetes and high blood pressure, but it can be caused by other disorders as well. Early detection and treatment may prevent chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When it progresses, it can lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis (blood filtering) or a kidney transplant to maintain life.

The UAB Nephrology program features a multidisciplinary team that provides state-of-the-art clinical care, research, teaching, and disease management for patients with diverse types of kidney disease. Consistently ranked among the top 50 of its kind in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, our program has earned a reputation for clinical excellence. Our integrated program features highly skilled physicians and transplant surgeons and is dedicated to delivering exceptional patient care and outstanding outcomes.

UAB’s Division of Nephrology was designated a George M. O’Brien Kidney Research Center by the National Institutes of Health, making us one of just eight such federally funded centers in the country dedicated to the study of acute kidney injury and kidney failure. Our research programs put us at the forefront in the development of new methods to treat, prevent, and cure diabetes and its complications. In addition, UAB’s participation in clinical trials increases the chances of providing our patients with cutting-edge therapies not available at other medical centers.

The UAB Hepato/Renal Fibrocystic Diseases Core Center, sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, calls UAB home. The North American Autosomal Recessive Polycystic Kidney Disease Clinical Database, a compilation of case histories from across the continent, also is housed at UAB and serves as an important resource for genetic research related to kidney disease.

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