Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms

The kidneys are remarkable in their ability to compensate for problems in their function. That is why chronic kidney disease may progress without symptoms for a long time until only very minimal kidney function is left.
Because the kidneys perform so many functions for the body, kidney disease can affect the body in a large number of different ways. Symptoms vary greatly. Several different body systems may be affected. Notably, most patients have no decrease in urine output even with very advanced chronic kidney disease.
Effects and symptoms of chronic kidney disease include;
  • need to urinate frequently, especially at night (nocturia);
  • swelling of the legs and puffiness around the eyes (fluid retention);
  • high blood pressure;
  • fatigue and weakness (from anemia or accumulation of waste products in the body);

  • loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting;

  • itching, easy bruising, and pale skin (from anemia);

  • shortness of breath from fluid accumulation in the lungs;

  • headaches, numbness in the feet or hands (peripheral neuropathy), disturbed sleep, altered mental status (encephalopathy from the accumulation of waste products or uremic poisons), and restless legs syndrome;

  • chest pain due to pericarditis (inflammation around the heart);

  • bleeding (due to poor blood clotting);

  • bone pain and fractures; and

  • decreased sexual interest and erectile dysfunction.


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