Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys function less than expected. The kidneys are vitally important and are responsible for excreting waste products, for electrolyte balance and for the production of certain hormones. Due to a number of causes of chronic kidney disease many of the above functions can be affected.

Possible causes of chronic kidney disease

Congenital causes – the disease or physical abnormality is present from birth
Acquired causes – the disease developed later in life but was not inherited or present at birth

Acquired causes include:

High blood pressure (hypertension)




Symptoms of chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease is often a silent disease because the patient might not experience many symptoms. This is why many people are only diagnosed when the condition is already established, and not in the early stages when further progression can be prevented.

Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:

Nausea and vomiting

Decreased mental sharpness

Loss of appetite

Muscle twitches and cramps

Fatigue and weakness

Swelling of feet and ankles

Sleep problems

Persistent itching

Changes in how much you urinate

Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart

High blood pressure (hypertension) that's difficult to control

The KidneyCare Programme for Discovery Health Medical Scheme members on chronic dialysis treatment

We understand that living with chronic kidney disease is a lifelong journey, often made difficult because of the need for regular care, complex medicine, restrictive diets, and many tests and investigations.

We designed the KidneyCare Programme to make it a bit easier for our members on chronic dialysis to manage their condition. The Programme is based on international best practice guidelines, to make sure you get the best quality of care and quality of life.

About the KidneyCare Programme

 When you are registered on the KidneyCare Programme, you get:

  • A calendar-based blood test schedule to monitor your condition that your treating doctor and dialysis provider will need to follow.
  • To obtain benefits related to these blood tests you need your Doctor to complete a PMB application form stating what type and frequency of chronic dialysis you require.
  • Yearly reports based on these tests and other important clinical information. We send the reports to you, your dialysis provider and your doctor to help in the management of your condition.
  • An information booklet to help you better understand and manage your condition.

How to register on the Chronic Illness Benefit for Chronic Kidney Disease

If you have chronic renal disease, complete the Chronic Illness Benefit application form. You can download the Chronic Illness Benefit application form here

For members on KeyCare plans

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