Many people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) won't have symptoms because it doesn't usually cause problems until it reaches an advanced stage.

Early stages of CKD

There don't tend to be any symptoms ofkidney diseasewhen it's at an early stage.

This is because the body is usually able to cope with a significant reduction in kidney function.

Kidney diseaseis often only diagnosed at this stage after a routine test, such as a blood or urine test, detects a possible problem.

If it's picked up at this stage, you may only need medication and regular tests to monitor it.Thiscan help stopit becoming more advanced.

Later stages of CKD

A number of symptoms can developif kidney disease isn't picked up early on or it gets worse despite treatment.

Symptoms can include:

  • weight loss and poor appetite
  • swollen ankles, feet or hands as a result of water retention (oedema)
  • shortness of breath
  • tiredness
  • blood in your urine
  • an increased need to peeparticularly at night
  • difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
  • itchy skin
  • muscle cramps
  • feeling sick
  • headaches
  • erectile dysfunction in men

This stage of CKD is known as kidney failure, end-stage renal disease orestablished renal failure. It may eventually require treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant .

When to get medical advice

See your GP if you have persistent or worrying symptoms that you think could be caused by kidney disease.

The symptoms of kidney disease can be caused by many less serious conditions, so it's important to get a proper diagnosis.

If you do have CKD, it's best to get it diagnosed as soon as possible. Kidney disease can be diagnosed byhaving blood and urine tests.


Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 25 Nov 2016