Patient Education by Southwest Virginia Nephrology Medicine, PC  


What is Signs & Symptoms Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms and you may not feel any different until your kidney disease is very advanced. The only way to know if you have kidney disease is to take blood and urine tests. Blood tests tell how well your kidneys are working, while urine tests for creatinine clearance or protein.

The symptoms of worsening kidney function might include:

  • Fatigue and paleness (feeling generally sick, weak and tired, with no explanation),
  • Confusion and inability to concentrate,
  • Experiencing Loss of Appetite,
  • Nausea and Vomiting,
  • Altered sense of Taste (metallic),
  • Frequent urination,
  • Reduced amount of urine and/or blood in the urine,
  •  Swelling of your legs, ankles, and feet from retention of fluids swelling from retained fluid (Edema),
  • Difficulty sleeping and/or muscle cramping at night,
  • Puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning,
  • Dry and itchy skin (Pruitis)
  • Headaches or chest pain,
  • Dizziness or seizures, and
  • Sexual dysfunction (very common in both men and women with CKD).

How can You Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Lifestyle and diet is key to prevent the progression of kidney disease. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Have regular checkups with your doctor and include a serum creatinine test to measure estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR).
  • Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level.
  • Keep your blood sugar or diabetes under control.
  • Stop smoking and avoid excessive alcohol use.
  • Keep your weight down and include physical activity each day.
  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fresh fruits/vegetables and a variety of grains.
  • Consume appropriate protein and adequate calories as prescribed by your dietician.
  • Lower the amount of sodium/salt you by avoiding snack foods, canned vegetables/soups, frozen dinners, fast foods, processed meats and cheeses.
  • Avoid processed foods high in sugar.
  • Choose lower potassium foods such as grapes, apples, cabbage, carrots, green beans, and strawberries rather than high-potassium such as spinach, bananas, oranges, potatoes and tomatoes.
  • Take vitamins and minerals as recommended by a doctor.
  • Take medicines as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Follow the directions for over-the-counter medications since taking a high dosage can create high toxin levels that can overload your kidneys.
  • Limit your exposure to chemicals, such as household cleaners, tobacco, pesticides, and other toxic products.

Need Help to Prevent Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)?

Our staff at Southwest Virginia Nephrology can help you to make better lifestyle choices, please call Southwest Virginia Nephrology Medicine in Roanoke, Virginia at (540) 904.5366 or complete the contact us form (click here). We provide specialized Nephrology services in Virginia and West Virginia, including Roanoke, Salem, Franklin County and Botetourt County.