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Chronic Kidney Disease Guide


Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, involves a gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then removed in your urine. Advanced chronic kidney disease can cause dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes to build up in your body.

What are the Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease

Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop kidney disease. According to the National Kidney Foundation, you may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:

  • Have diabetes
  • Have high blood pressure
  • Have a family history of kidney failure
  • Are older
  • Belong to a population group with a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure, such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians


While it’s not possible to reverse kidney damage, you can take steps to slow it down. Taking prescribed medicine, being physically active, and eating well will help. You’ll also feel better and improve your overall well-being.

  • Take your medicine as prescribed
  • Get physically active
  • Have a balanced and healthy diet
  • Quit or don’t start smoking
  • Understand kidney values (blood and urine tests)
  • Follow up with doctor as indicated
  • Discuss Preventative Care Options with your provider

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers tips on how to live with chronic kidney disease.


Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of kidney damage, usually by controlling the cause. But even controlling the cause might not keep kidney damage from progressing. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.



  • Dialysis Service: Medical care, tests and other treatments for the kidneys. This service also includes dialysis supplies and other supplies that help treat the kidneys. We cover the following as prescribed by your treating doctor, when medically necessary: hemodialysis treatments and peritoneal dialysis treatments
  • Evaluation and Management Services: Services for doctor’s visits to stay healthy and prevent or treat illness.
  • Genitourinary Services: Services to treat conditions, illnesses, or disease of the genitals or urinary system.
  • Inpatient Hospital Services: Medical care that you get while you are in the hospital. This can include any tests, medicines, therapies and treatments, visits from doctors and equipment that is used to treat you.
  • Laboratory Services: Services that test blood, urine, saliva, or other items from the body from conditions, illnesses or diseases.
  • Medication Management Services: Services to help people understand and make the best choices for taking medication.
  • Pain Management Services: Treatments for long-lasting pain that does not get better after other services have been provided. Covered as medically necessary.
  • Transplant Services: Services that include all surgery and pre- and post- surgical care. Covered as medically necessary.


  • Up to $20 Tobacco Cessation Health Coaching Sessions: Age 10 and up. Must submit a consent form, verbally pledge to stop tobacco use and complete all four sessions within six months of the first session. $5 reward after each completed session.
  • Learn more about Healthy Rewards.  


  • The CDC offers valuable resources and information about chronic kidney disease.
  • The National Kidney Foundation provides information on research, innovation and the hole patient through the lens of kidney health.
  • Sunshine Health Community Resource Database: Find more free resources through Sunshine Health’s Community Resource Database. Enter your ZIP code to search for help with food, shelter, healthcare, money, school, jobs and more.
  • Sunshine Health offers Case Management for care coordination needs and support with the management of your condition.


Contact Sunshine Health Member Services at 1-866-796-0530 (TTY: 1-800-955-8770) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern.