Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) | Complications


What happens when CKD gets worse?

Even with the right treatments, CKD can get worse over time. Your kidneys could stop working. This is called kidney failure. If this happens, waste builds up in your body and acts like a poison. This poisoning can cause vomiting, weakness, confusion and coma.

If your kidneys have failed, your doctor will send you for dialysis (say: “die-al-uh-sis”). During dialysis, a special machine is used to filter the blood and remove waste that builds up. One kind of dialysis has to be done in a clinic. For another kind of dialysis, the machine is so small it can be strapped to your body while you go about your daily activities. If you need dialysis, your doctor will talk with you about which kind of dialysis machine you can use.


Chronic Kidney Disease by Margaret Baumgarten, MD and Todd Gehr, MD (American Family Physician November 15, 2011,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 05/05