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What to do when your kidneys are failing but your MD tells you not to worry

Q. After a routine check-up by my GP, I was told blood tests indicated I was suffering from chronic kidney disease. I was totally shocked – but the doctor said I shouldn’t worry, just to get on with life, and that about ten per cent of his patients had this. I was in and out in ten minutes. I’m now Googling the condition and feel worried and confused.

A. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a tricky problem for doctors and patients, not least because of its name. Calling something a disease when in fact it affects ten per cent of the UK population is of course going to cause anxiety and worry unnecessarily in well people.

In fact, half of people aged 75 or more have some degree of CKD so it could actually be seen as a normal part of the ageing process rather than a disease.

Essentially it means the kidneys are ageing and their function to remove waste and control blood pressure is less efficient than before.

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