Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is more prevalent than ever, with an estimated 20 million Americans suffering from some stage of the illness. The good news is that chronic kidney disease won’t necessarily lead to kidney failure.
In fact, the vast majority of kidney disease patients – even those with an advanced stage of the disease – will never experience total kidney failure. However, without proper medical treatment and self-care, kidney disease could progress steadily, leading to life-threatening complications before you realize the severity of the situation.
Chronic kidney failure is a bit different than acute kidney failure: it develops slowly over a period of weeks, months or years in some patients with kidney disease. In many cases, symptoms of CKD are subtle for a long time, and can lead to kidney failure without much pain at all. On the other hand, some people experience a general pattern of discomfort that signals a buildup of waste products in the body.
1. Changes in Urination
The kidneys eliminate waster through urine, so it makes perfect sense that changes in frequency, quantity, or the appearance of urine could point to a more serious problem with the kidneys. Blood in the urine is probably the most startling warning sign, but cloudy or foamy urine could indicate kidney failure, too. Emptying your bladder more often, less often, or incompletely is another suspicious sign.