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Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms

Doctor discussing kidney health problems with patientHow do you know if you are experiencing chronic kidney disease symptoms?

Fluids, waste and excess sodium accumulates in the body on a constant basis. The kidneys filter out the surplus from the bloodstream and it is released via urination. If the functionality of the kidneys is compromised, toxic levels of waste will amass in the body, resulting in a variety of medical issues and sometimes death.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is divided into five stages, the fifth being end-stage CKD, or established CKD. There is no cure for end-stage CKD and it is ultimately fatal. Dialysis (artificial filtering of the bloodstream) or kidney transplant are commonly required to treat chronic kidney disease symptoms. Though some patients may choose to take part in a renal impairment clinical trial as well.

As renal function declines, fluid overloads the bloodstream and the kidneys responsively produce vasoactive hormones and does not filter waste from the bloodstream. Also, the kidneys allow valuable red blood cells and protein to filter out of the blood stream and exit the body through the urine. The chronic decline of kidney function occurs progressively, sometimes taking many years, causing increasingly worse bodily ills.

Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms & Red Flags

The following is a list of symptoms that may be experienced in patients with chronic kidney disease:

  • Urine output increase or decrease
  • Excess red blood cells in urine
  • Excess protein in urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Pericarditis
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest heaviness
  • Encephalopathy
  • Accumulation of urea
  • Anemia
  • Hyperkalemia (accumulation of potassium)
  • High blood pressure
  • Excess creatinine in the bloodstream
  • Hypocalcemia (lack of calcium)
  • Excess fluid in the body
  • Edema
  • Accelerated atherosclerosis
  • Metabolic acidosis
  • Hyperphosphatemia (accumulation of phosphate)
  • Weakness
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle twitching
  • Mental impairment
  • Itching
  • Hiccups
  • Interrupted sleep
  • Trouble sleeping

In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, patients may experience little to no symptoms. It is actually quite normal for patients to not suffer any symptoms until they have, often unknowingly, undergone considerable loss of renal function. Additionally, the symptoms of CKD vary from patient to patient. For these reasons, CKD can go undiagnosed for many months or years. It is also common for patients’ CKD cases to go undiagnosed until they suffer a complication and pay a visit to their physicians.

If kidney disease is present, creatinine levels in the blood will be higher than normal as a result of the slowed filtration of creatinine, as well as other waste products, from the blood. Blood and urinalysis tests are available to check for creatinine levels as part of the diagnostic testing for kidney disease.

Kidney disease and its symptoms are manageable with prescribed medications, dieting, kidney transplants, dialysis and therapies. Talk to your doctor to discuss your symptoms and ask about which medical routes are best suited for your CKD case. Sticking to your treatment regimen boosts your chances of living a healthier life.