What Are the Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease?

By: Dzhingarov

An individual with kidney disease may exhibit high blood pressure, itchy skin, a need to urinate more frequently and swelling of hands and feet as symptoms. They may also exhibit reduced red blood cell count (anemia) and metabolic acidosis – an imbalance of chemicals within their bodies resulting in chemical imbalance.

Kidneys filter waste and excess fluids out of the blood, excreting them through urine. Early diagnosis and treatment can slow the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD).


The kidneys are bean-shaped organs located at either end of your spine. Their main role is waste filtration: filtering blood 12 times an hour and excreting excess water and unwanted chemicals through urine, as well as maintaining fluid balance and controlling blood pressure by adjusting salt intake levels in your blood. Kidney disease arises when kidney function begins deteriorating gradually over time until reaching end-stage renal disease, or ESRD.

Chronic kidney disease is more often found among those living with diabetes or high blood pressure, but can affect anyone, including children and healthy weight individuals who do not suffer from such conditions. Furthermore, genetic disorders like polycystic kidney disease could be to blame.

Chronic kidney disease symptoms may include the need to go to the bathroom more frequently (nocturia) or having an unpleasant metallic taste in their mouths, among others. As kidney function declines, waste products begin to build up in the blood and can lead to nausea and vomiting and an insatiable loss of appetite leading to malnutrition and weight loss. Fluid and electrolyte retention can result in dry, flaky skin; swollen feet and ankles; fatigue and weakness due to anemia; as well as shortness of breath caused by fluid accumulation in the lungs and changes in levels of sodium (salt) and potassium (salt/potassium in blood.) Over time this could result in heart failure resulting from fluid buildup in your system over time as waste products accumulate; over time as waste products accumulate it can result in fluid buildup; and eventually cause heart failure due to changes in levels of sodium/potassium in your system leading to changes of sodium/potassium levels/potassium levels/potassium in your system eventually leading to weight loss due to malnutrition or weight loss due to malnutrition due to weight loss from malnutrition/weight gain etc & eventually lead to malnutrition/weight gain; fluid/ electrolyte build up leading to fluid retention with fatigue/weight loss due to fluid retention/ weight gain caused by malnutrition/weight gain/ weight gain, while fluid build up due to decreased appetite caused by changes between sodium (salt/potamate levels/blood change resulting in the body being too high/pot/ blood levels increasing/anemia causing fatigue/weakness due to weight gain; consequently increased due to weight gain etc…

People living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at increased risk for blood clots to form in the arteries that supply their kidneys and other parts of the body with oxygenated blood, increasing stroke and heart attack risk. People living with advanced CKD also face the increased likelihood of cardiovascular disease when its inflammation affects heart valves or causes other heart-related organs to malfunction.

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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) can be treated effectively. People living with diabetes can take steps to keep their blood sugar under control to slow the progression of kidney disease. Dialysis or transplant may help restore some kidney function and lower wastes in their blood.


Healthy kidneys filter out waste and excess fluid from the blood, excreting it via urine. When chronic kidney disease advances to an advanced stage, excess waste builds up within the body causing loss of appetite, fatigue or weakness, changes in urine output, itching puffy eyes back pain bad taste in mouth as well as increased risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. People living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are also more prone to high blood pressure which increases their risk for cardiovascular disease and stroke.

Kidney disease often doesn’t show early warning signs because the body can manage with reduced levels of kidney function. As such, most cases go undetected until their advanced stages, when blood or urine tests for another purpose detect an unusual result that indicates possible kidney issues.

At this point, the kidneys begin to lose their ability to work properly, leading to waste and extra fluid to build up in the body and lead to swelling of feet and ankles. Uremia causes itching due to metabolic waste in your blood; it may lead to decreased energy and weight loss due to not wanting to eat. Furthermore, unpleasant taste in your mouth such as bitter or metallic food sensation may occur, potentially leading to nausea or vomiting episodes.

People living with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at an increased risk for blood clots that could obstruct the flow of blood to their organs and leave them without enough oxygen. Proteinuria, where protein leaks out of kidneys into urine, may also occur and lead to dangerously elevated potassium levels in bloodstream.

Doctors typically diagnose chronic kidney disease by collecting a blood sample to measure their glomerular filtration rate, which measures how well the kidneys are working. They will also look out for signs of damage such as protein urine levels and blood creatinine levels; and may perform a cystoscopy, inserting a thin tube into the bladder to look for abnormalities.


Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) typically begins as subtle signs, like mild high blood pressure or fluid retention. Over time, however, CKD will advance to stage 3 or 4, eventually reaching kidney failure stages. Regular visits to your physician for screening is crucial if there is a family history of kidney disease in your family.

At an office visit, your physician may assess your weight and urine for signs of kidney disease, inquire into family medical history, medications you are taking and any symptoms that cause concern.

Next steps may include a physical exam to check for heart and blood vessel disease. Your doctor may order blood tests called albumin to creatine ratio and kidney function test that measures your GFR (glomerular filtration rate). An X-ray might also be taken of your chest in order to look for fluid buildup (pulmonary edema). Finally, an optional kidney biopsy can take place wherein a needle is inserted into your kidney in order to collect small samples of tissue for examination of damage or disease.

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Treatment aims to halt the progression of kidney disease, alleviate symptoms, and avoid complications. If diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD), your physician will likely prescribe medicines for other conditions that might aggravate it – including diabetes and high blood pressure – such as steroids to decrease inflammation and cholesterol-lowering drugs; alternatively if anemia exists your physician might also suggest iron and erythropoietin supplements to increase red blood cell production.

Your kidney function and swelling could benefit from a low-sodium diet. Your doctor might refer you to a registered dietitian, who will teach you how to make better food choices and limit salt in your diet. In some instances, diuretics might also be prescribed in order to relieve fluid buildup or manage high blood pressure; additionally medication might also be needed in order to balance calcium levels and protect bone tissue from further weakening or thinning.


The kidneys serve as the body’s natural filter, filtering waste from blood. Over time, chronic kidney disease can lead to dangerous levels of fluid accumulation in the body – early diagnosis and referral to a nephrologist can prevent progression of disease.

At the initial stages, diagnosis involves speaking to your physician and answering their questions about family history, health conditions and medications that you take. Regular blood and urine tests – commonly called “urinalysis”) will show how your kidneys are performing; additionally they can identify early warning signs such as protein in urine or increased levels of urea nitrogen or creatinine which indicate chronic kidney disease.

Your doctor will likely recommend a low-salt, high-potassium diet and diuretics (water pills). For high blood pressure sufferers, medicines to widen blood vessels and encourage more frequent and rapid urination may also be prescribed, including angiotensin receptor blockers and ACE inhibitors. A phosphate binder medication could also be given; this will lower phosphorus levels to protect heart and blood vessel structures from calcium deposits; additionally your doctor might suggest calcium/vitamin D supplements and medication designed specifically to treat anemia.

Kidney disease can lead to anemia, in which you don’t produce enough healthy red blood cells. Your doctor may suggest taking erythropoietin (uh-rith-roe-POI-uh-tin) supplements with iron added for additional red blood cell production and relief from fatigue and weakness caused by anemia. They might also prescribe medications to address high cholesterol as high cholesterol can increase risk for heart disease and other health problems.

Maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking and limit alcohol consumption. Engaging in regular physical activity such as regular exercise can help manage both blood pressure and blood sugar, and may even slow the progression of kidney disease. Check with your physician regarding which exercises are safe for you.