ckd symptoms
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Expert-reviewed by Ashwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience.

Your kidneys help filter out the things your body doesn’t need. They produce hormones, help control your blood pressure and are also vital for balancing your body’s electrolyte and acid base balance. In chronic kidney disease (CKD) there is a gradual loss of kidney function over a period of many years. CKD is common in diabetes and is often un-diagnosed.

Diabetes can damage your kidneys slowly, and in stages. It causes your kidneys to work harder. As years pass by, they don’t work as well as they should. High blood sugar levels can cause the blood vessels in your kidneys to become narrow and clogged. You may develop a condition called microalbuminuria, wherein small quantities of albumin (a protein in your blood) leak into your urine. With the progression of the disease, you may develop proteinuria with increased amounts of albumin leaking out into the urine. This condition affects your kidneys’ ability to filter. Wastes build up at dangerous levels in your blood and lead to many complications. Eventually, your kidney disease could get worse and lead to kidney failure.

Here are some tips to prevent chronic kidney disease.

If you have diabetes, watch out for these signs and symptoms of CKD

  • Nocturia – frequent urination at night (1)
  • Disturbed sleep due to nocturia
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Facial swelling, puffiness around your eyes (especially in the morning)
  • Leg cramps at night
  • Muscle wasting (2)
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Paleness, anaemia (3)
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Headaches
  • Weight gain (due to fluid retention)
  • Protein in the urine, high levels of urea, nitrogen and creatinine in blood
  • High blood pressure
  • Breathlessness
  • Frequent hypoglycemia attacks/episodes (less need for insulin or diabetes medications)
  • Confusion, trouble concentrating, drowsiness (4)
  • Bony deformities and fractures in children with long-standing CKD (5)

Usually, the signs and symptoms are not noticeable in early kidney disease and show up only when the condition has advanced to an irreversible stage. Getting your kidneys checked every year can help detect kidney damage. If detected early and treated, kidney disease can often be slowed and stopped from failing.

Disclaimer: The information we share is verified by experts and scientifically validated. However, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Please always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested on this website.


  1. Król E, Rutkowski B, Czarniak P, et al. Early Detection of Chronic Kidney Disease: Results of the PolNef Study. American Journal of Nephrology. 2009;29(3):264-273. doi:10.1159/000158526.
  2. Avin KG, Moorthi RN. Bone is Not Alone: the Effects of Skeletal Muscle Dysfunction in Chronic Kidney Disease. Current osteoporosis reports. 2015;13(3):173-179. doi:10.1007/s11914-015-0261-4.
  3. Hung S, Kuo K, Peng C, Wu C, Wang Y, Tarng D. Association of Fluid Retention With Anemia and Clinical Outcomes Among Patients With Chronic Kidney Disease. Journal of the American Heart Association: Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Disease. 2015;4(1):e001480. doi:10.1161/JAHA.114.001480.
  4. Kurella-Tamura M, Wadley V, Yaffe K, et al. Kidney Function and Cognitive Impairment in US Adults: The REGARDS (Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke) Study. American journal of kidney diseases : the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation. 2008;52(2):227-234. doi:10.1053/j.ajkd.2008.05.004.
  5. Wesseling-Perry K. Bone disease in pediatric chronic kidney disease. Pediatr Nephrol. 2013 Apr;28(4):569-76. doi: 10.1007/s00467-012-2324-4. Epub 2012 Oct 14. Review. PubMed PMID: 23064662; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3594120.


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Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for patient awareness only. This has been written by qualified experts and scientifically validated by them. Wellthy or it’s partners/subsidiaries shall not be responsible for the content provided by these experts. This article is not a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Please always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested on this article/website.