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 of kidney disease when it’s at an early stage.
This is because the body is usually able to cope with a significant reduction in kidney function.
Kidney disease is often only diagnosed at this stage after a routine test, such as a blood or urine test, detects a possible problem.
Later stages of CKD. A number of symptoms can develop if 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
blood in your urine
an increased need to pee – particularly at night
difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
erectile dysfunction in men
This stage of CKD is known as kidney failure, end-stage renal disease or established 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 by having blood and urine tests.