Who’s at Risk
for Chronic
Kidney Disease

15% of adults in the US have chronic kidney disease (CKD)—though most don’t realize it. One challenge in detecting CKD is that there are virtually no kidney disease symptoms until later stages, when kidney damage has already occurred. Know your risk factors, learn the symptoms and get tested for CKD—especially if you have one of the known causes, like diabetes or high blood pressure.

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Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms

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 disease

While 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.
symptoms of kidney failure
  • 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

If you have any of the signs or symptoms of kidney disease, talk to your doctor and get tested.

Learn about diagnosis and testing


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Diabetes is a risk factor for Kidney disease

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.

Call your doctor asap if you experience kidney failure symptoms

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.
diabetes or high blood pressure screening for CKD


Get screened for chronic kidney disease once a year.