Signs and Symptoms

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Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

The signs and symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in most people are subtle and difficult to detect.  Symptoms sometimes only manifest after a significant amount of kidney function is lost.  The good news is that with earlier detection most kidney diseases can be slowed and dialysis delayed or prevented, especially in patients with Diabetes.  Chronic Kidney  Disease symptoms mimic other diseases’, and CKD is associated with Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Heart Disease. If you have these conditions or family history YOU ARE AT RISK for already having or developing Chronic Kidney Disease.  Some early symptoms/signs of CKD are, High Blood Pressure, blood/protein in a urine specimen, an abnormal blood test called the creatinine or GFR(Glomerular Filtration Rate), urination at night, swelling around eyes/feet/ankles, foamy urine, tiredness/fatigue, bone disease, or family history of kidney disease.

Without treatment, Chronic Kidney Disease is progressive by nature.  The majority of patients respond to treatment but a few kidney patients respond minimally to treatment.  The signs and symptoms of CKD worsen as the disease progresses. Advanced disease leads to nausea, poor appetite, muscle cramping, shortness of breath and swelling from fluid accumulation, chest pain, internal bleeding, fractures from weak bones, and unexplained weight loss.

Signs such as High Blood Pressure, blood/protein in a urine specimen, Diabetes, Heart Disease and family history of kidney disease are easy to detect.  This is why it is important to see your physician to have a screening urine, blood work (if at risk), and blood pressure checked.  It is also important to alert your doctor if you have risk factors of High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, or Family History.   If you have risk factors, your blood work should be checked to include creatinine, GFR, anemia count, and urine specimen for protein, blood, and microalbumin.  This will identify if you have kidney disease and if a further diagnostic and treatment plan is warranted.  Early detection and treatment is the mainstay of a successful outcome.  Please contact our office or your primary care physician if you have questions. Not everyone with Chronic Kidney Disease experiences all of these symptoms. You may have just a few, and they may come and go without warning. Many of the symptoms may eventually disappear with proper medical treatment. But any symptoms you do experience should be checked by a doctor – and the sooner, the better!  If you think you have the symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease or at risk for please schedule an appointment with a physician at the Kidney and Hypertension Institute of Utah to be evaluated.