What is Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys function less than expected. The kidneys are vitally important and are responsible for excreting waste products, for electrolyte balance and for the production of certain hormones. Due to a number of causes of chronic kidney disease many of the above functions can be affected. Kidney disease can be present from birth (congenital) or acquired as a result of high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV or ageing.
Symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is often a silent disease because the patient might not experience many symptoms. This is why many people are only diagnosed when the condition is already established, and not in the early stages when further progression can be prevented. Signs and symptoms may include:
Nausea and vomiting
Decreased mental sharpness
Loss of appetite
Muscle twitches and cramps
Swelling of feet and ankles
Changes in how much you urinate
Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
High blood pressure (hypertension) that's difficult to control
Fatigue, weakness and sleep problems