Signs That You May Have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)


Sep 24, 2021

Signs That You May Have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Signs That You May Have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

More than 37 million American adults are living with kidney disease, yet the majority of them do not know it. “Only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know that they have it” says Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer at the National Kidney Foundation.

Dr. Vassalotti explains that “there are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people attribute them to other conditions. Also, those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing”.  

Below are the 10 possible signs that Dr Vasalotti gives, that you may have kidney disease.

There are factors that put people at a higher risk of developing kidney disease.  People with  high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure, or who are older than 60 years of age, are at a higher risk, and should be tested for kidney disease once a year.  You must be tested to know for sure if you have kidney disease.  

10 Signs that You May Have Chronic Kidney Disease

  1. Muscle cramps.  Impaired kidney function can cause electrolyte imbalances which lead to cramping in the muscles.
  2. Poor appetite.  Though a poor appetite is a very general symptom, it can be due to a buildup of toxins as a result of reduced kidney function.  
  3. Swollen ankles and feet.  Sodium retention due to decreased kidney function may cause swelling in the feet and ankles.  
  4. Persistent puffiness around eyes.  If the kidneys are leaking a large amount of protein in the urine, instead of keeping it in the body, it may cause puffiness around the eyes that does not go away.
  5. Foamy urine.  Excessive bubbles in the urine is an indication that there is protein in the urine.  
  6. Blood in urine.  When filtering out waste from the blood to make urine, healthy kidneys usually keep the blood cells in the body.  However, when the kidney's filters have been damaged, these blood cells can start to “leak” out into the urine.  
  7. Feeling need to urinate more often.  When the kidney filters are damaged it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate, especially at night.  
  8. More tired, less energy, or trouble concentrating.  A buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood due to a severe decrease in kidney function can cause people to feel tired, weak, and have trouble concentrating.  Anemia is a complication of kidney disease and may also cause weakness and fatigue.
  9. Dry and Itchy skin.  Dry and itchy skin may be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often can occur with advanced kidney disease. This happens because the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood.
  10. Trouble sleeping.  A buildup of toxins in the blood due to the kidneys not filtering properly, can cause difficulty sleeping.

If you have one or more symptoms, please contact  your physician for a checkup as soon as possible.  

Related Articles

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

Treatment Options for Chronic Kidney Disease

What Do Your Kidneys Do?


National Kidney Foundation

About the Author

Monica Thomas

Monica McCarthy has bachelors in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Central Washington University.  A majority of her career was spent as a political consultant.   She currently works at KidneyLuv as a staff writer.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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