(386) 310-1334 or click here to
Get Started

Chronic Kidney Disease & Renal Impairment

Patient with renal impairment affecting one kidneyWhen it comes to chronic kidney disease and renal impairment, clinical research is incredibly important. There are currently 4.9 million Americans with diagnosed kidney disease, and it’s the 9th highest cause of death in our country. This means that discovering better treatments would affect millions of lives.

Even patients who don’t succumb to the disease are negatively impacted. The effects of their condition can keep them from living a happy and normal life.

While there are a number of treatments available to them, in some cases this is not enough. Through clinical trials on chronic kidney disease, researchers are discovering new ways to combat this issue, as well as better methods of diagnosing the disease. There is still a lot of research to be done before we have a chance at beating this devastating disease for good.

What are Kidney Disease and Renal Impairment?

A person who has been diagnosed with kidney disease has damaged kidneys that are unable to filter blood properly. This causes waste buildup in his or her body, which can cause other health problems.

Someone with kidney disease will also unfortunately have an increased risk of:

  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke

Sometimes people confuse chronic kidney disease and acute kidney injury; however, the two conditions are different from one another. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by having a condition that causes worsened kidney function over time. The definition of acute kidney injury (AKI) is temporary and sudden loss of kidney function.

CKD can eventually result in renal impairment, also known as kidney failure. This is the point at which the patient’s kidneys have stopped functioning completely. He or she will need a kidney transplant or dialysis, a treatment that filters water and waste from the blood.

Symptoms and Statistics

Kidney disease is called “the silent killer” because symptoms often do not appear until the disease is in its advanced stages. To further complicate things, a number of the early signs are easily confused with other illnesses.


Some of these early symptoms include:

  • Chest pain
  • Itching
  • Lessened or lost appetite
  • Nausea
  • Uncontrollable high blood pressure
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss

Unfortunately these symptoms can be easy to dismiss. Itching or nausea might seem insignificant, and things like lessened appetite or unexplained weight loss are sometimes welcomed instead of questioned. Some people may not have symptoms at all! This means that a patient’s kidneys could already be significantly damaged by the time he or she is diagnosed.

By the time things are worse, a patient might experience the following:

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding easily
  • Bone pain
  • Bruising easily
  • Constant thirst
  • Cramps
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Hiccups
  • Insomnia
  • Limb numbness
  • Missed menstrual periods in women
  • Shortness of breath
  • Skin color changes
    • Much lighter than it used to be
    • Much darker than it used to be
  • Swollen ankles and/or feet
  • Trouble focusing or staying alert
  • Twitching
  • Urination changes
    • Much more than usual
    • Much less than usual
  • Weakness

More serious complications of CKD include the following:

  • Fluid buildup in your lungs or other parts of your body
  • High blood pressure
  • Nerve damage
    • This can also lead to seizures
  • Vitamin D deficiency
    • This can negatively impact your bone health


Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Family history of CKD is also a risk factor.

Here are some other facts and statistics about CKD:

  • CKD affects 14% of Americans.
  • Over 661,000 people in our country have kidney failure.
  • About 468,000 of those patients are on dialysis
  • Approximately 193,000 live with a functioning kidney transplant.
  • In 2013, over 47,000 Americans passed away due to kidney disease
  • More women than men have stages 1 to 4 CKD (15.93% and 13.52 percent, respectively)

Every year, CKD kills more people than:

  • Breast cancer
  • Prostate cancer

More Information

It can help to have the information on chronic kidney disease and renal impairment brought to life! Check out this informative youtube video if you’re interested.

Working for A Cure

According to World Kidney Day, three important facts to remember about kidney disease are that it’s:

  • Common
  • Harmful
  • Treatable

These are three great reasons to double down on clinical research efforts worldwide, and here at Achieve we are working hard to do our part. Chronic kidney disease is causing major damage to a lot of people, despite the last list item: that it is treatable. As mentioned earlier, this is in part because noticeable symptoms often don’t appear until the disease is advanced.

We need better ways to diagnose. We need better ways to treat. We need people like you!

Did you know that research volunteers are often needed for kidney disease clinical trials here in Vestavia Hills, AL?

If this is an opportunity that you are interested in, we are available to answer any of your questions and help get you enrolled in the best study. If you provide us with your name, email and phone number using the form on this page, one of our staff members will contact you.

Haven’t ever participated in a clinical trial? You probably have a number of questions and we’re here to answer all of them. In the meantime, we invite you to visit our clinical study participation resource section. This has some helpful information about what it’s like to be in a clinical trial here at our state-of-the-art facility.

Qualified participants are eligible to receive compensation for their involvement in one of our Alabama clinical trials. They’ll also gain access to premium healthcare and study-related medication free of charge.

If all of this appeals to you, but you suffer from a medical condition other than kidney disease, don’t worry! We offer a variety of clinical trials here at Achieve. If you are interested in helping us advance modern medicine or in taking a more active role in your healthcare, please give us a call today at (205) 757-8208. Also, our sister site Avail Clinical Research conducts renal impairment clinical trials in DeLand, Florida.