- Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease
- Kidney Disease Stages
- How Kidneys Work
- What to Expect
- Managing Kidney Disease
- Take a FREE CLASS on Kidney Disease
Understanding Chronic Kidney DiseaseUnderstanding Chronic Kidney Disease
What are the Symptoms of Kidney Disease?
One of the trickier aspects of chronic kidney disease (CKD) detection is that the signs and symptoms of kidney disease occur late, after the condition has progressed. In fact, CKD is sometimes known as a “silent” condition because it’s hard to detect—and most people with early stage CKD are completely unaware of it.
Understanding signs of kidney diseaseWhile watching for late-stage symptoms won’t help with early detection, it’s still important to be aware of the signs. Remember, you shouldn’t wait for symptoms before you take action. If you are at risk for CKD, you should be screened at least once a year for any evidence of chronic kidney disease. The earlier CKD is detected, the greater the benefit of early treatment. Talk to your doctor immediately if you notice any of these signs and symptoms of kidney disease.
- Changes in urination—including foamy or bloody urine, more or less urine than usual or getting up more at night to urinate
- Fatigue—lack of usual energy or feeling overwhelmingly tired
- Itching—waste buildup in your blood can cause severe itching
- Swelling in hands or feet—swelling can occur when kidneys aren’t removing extra fluid over time
- Shortness of breath—extra fluid not removed by kidneys can build up in your lungs; breathlessness can also be caused by anemia
- Pain in the small of your back—localized pain near your kidneys that doesn’t change or becomes worse when you move or stretch
Other potential symptoms of kidney disease
- High blood pressure
- Poor appetite or nausea and vomiting
- Puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
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Diabetes and high blood pressure alert
Diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension) are the top two causes of chronic kidney disease, so regular check-ups that include blood and urine tests are critical to monitoring your kidney health. If you have either condition, make your loved ones aware of CKD symptoms, too—as they may notice something you don’t. Your doctor will want to know right away about any signs you may see.
Recognize a symptom? Talk to your doctor ASAP.
The sooner you report signs or symptoms, the sooner your doctor can start treatment or attribute your symptoms to another cause. Getting the right help at the right time can dramatically influence the progression of kidney disease—so taking immediate action gives you your best chance at preserving kidney function.
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