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Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease - Symptoms

​The kidneys have a large reserve, and a large amount of kidney must be damaged before a person develops symptoms of chronic kidney disease. For this reason, a patient may have significant kidney damage but still feel perfectly well and see a doctor only very late in the course of his condition. A patient with mild chronic kidney failure may not have any symptoms initially and may feel totally well. However, as the kidney disease progresses, symptoms become more apparent. Patients may develop:

  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the legs (called oedema)
  • Breathlessness
  • General symptoms of poor sleep, loss of appetite and lethargy
  • A bad smell in the breath called a uraemic fetor
  • Cramps
  • Numbness of the feet
  • Passing a lot of urine, especially at night (called nocturia), or conversely too little urine.
  • Chronic generalised itch
  • Blood in the urine, which usually reflects the underlying kidney disease
  • Soapy urine or frothy urine, which may reflect the presence of protein in the urine


Not every patient develop all these symptoms. Some may develop these symptoms at different stages of their disease. Also, it is important to realise that these symptoms do not necessarily only mean that one has kidney disease. Each disease affects each patient differently and to a different extent.

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Chronic Kidney Disease - Preparing for surgery

Chronic Kidney Disease - Post-surgery care

Chronic Kidney Disease - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth
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