Symptoms of kidney disease

There are many signs of kidney disease. See your doctor if you have any of them.

One possible complication of diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) is chronic kidney disease (also referred to as chronic kidney failure). Diabetes causes injury to the small blood vessels in the body. If the small blood vessels in the kidneys are injured, it may result in the inability of the kidneys to properly clean blood.

According to Mayo Clinic there are a number of symptoms associated with chronic kidney disease. Symptoms may develop over a period of time if the kidney damage is progressing at a slow pace. The list of symptoms includes:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Chronic hiccups
  • Persistent itching
  • Changes in urine output
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Chest pain (caused by the build-up of fluid around the lining of the heart)
  • Shortness of breath (if fluid builds up in the lungs)
  • High blood pressure that is difficult to control

Many of these symptoms can also be caused by other illnesses. With chronic kidney disease, the symptoms may not appear until damage has already occurred, unfortunately. This is because the kidneys are highly adaptable. They are able to make up for lost function, which means that as they are in decline they are still functioning. Although you may not be suffering from symptoms you may not be free of kidney disease.

If you do have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor. If you have diabetes or another chronic condition that increases your risk of developing kidney disease, your doctor will most likely monitor your blood pressure and kidney function on a regular basis, whether you experience these symptoms or not.

Diabetes can be a challenge to manage, but through regular doctor visits and monitoring of blood pressure and kidney function, complications may be avoided.

You can find more information about chronic kidney disease through the National Kidney Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Michigan State University Extension provides education in chronic disease prevention and management. To contact an expert in your area visit or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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