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Kidneys are among the most efficient organs in our body and play an important role in managing levels of many substances in the body, removing waste products and toxins, producing urine and even controlling blood pressure. Located in the back of the abdomen on either side of the body, kidneys help balance levels of vitamins, amino acids, glucose, hormones and other vital substances in the bloodstream. (Also read: Blood samples can predict kidney disease in type 2 diabetes patients: Study)

Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) unfortunately is a progressive condition. Over time almost all patients progress to a stage where they need either dialysis or a kidney transplant(Freepik)

A decrease in kidney function can impact your body function but the symptoms may not be clear enough to identify chronic kidney disease and the disease may not be diagnosed in early stages. Feeling more tired without any reason, finding it difficult to focus, trouble sleeping in the night, having dry and itchy skin, a need to urinate more, foamy urine, puffiness around eyes, swollen feet and ankles, poor appetite and muscle cramping are all common signs of kidney disease that people may miss.

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Kidneys perform a variety of functions apart from filtering the blood to excrete waste materials like urea and creatinine. They are also help in maintaining the bone health and production of blood.

What is chronic kidney disease?

“Chronic kidney diseases (CKD) unfortunately is a progressive condition. Over time almost all patients progress to a stage where they need either dialysis or a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, CKD doesn’t have overt symptom until the disease has progressed significantly. Even if symptoms are present, the patient may not realise that they are due to CKD. Hence CKD is missed in the early stages in most of the patients. But it’s important to know that if diagnosed early, the progression of CKD can be regarded,” says Dr. Sashi Kiran A, Consultant Nephrologist, Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad.

Signs of kidney disease to watch out for

As per Dr Sashi, here are the following telltale signs that may be present in the early stages of CKD and should be proactively looked for in order to diagnose the disease early.

1. Anorexia and nausea: People lose the interest to eat and when forced may feel nauseated to consume food. Over a period of time they may start losing weight.

2. Swelling of feet or around the eyes: Your feet may swell on prolonged sitting. Most patients may notice this at the end of their day or after a few hours of travel. Swelling around the eyes may be noticed early in the morning.

3. Easy fatigue: People with kidney disease may feel that their energy level is low and tend to rest more.

4. Nocturia: The patients may notice that they tend to pass urine more frequently at night than during the day.

5. Change in the sleep pattern: They may experience a day-night reversal, feeling sleepless at night but sleepy in the morning.

6. Lack of concentration: Patients may find it difficult to remain focused either in their studies or at work.

7. High blood pressure: Most patients with CKD either have high blood pressure or develop high blood pressure early on in their course.

Any of the above symptoms should not be ignored as early detection of chronic kidney disease can help reduce the chances of progression significantly.

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