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Chronic kidney disease (CKD) refers to any long-term damage to your kidneys that becomes worse over time. If not properly treated, CKD will advance through its stages until it reaches its fifth and final stage, otherwise known as kidney failure or end-stage renal disease. To survive a kidney failure, you will require a transplant or dialysis.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of CKD are often difficult to notice during their early stages. This results in many people only realising they have CKD when their kidneys are severely damaged. This is why it’s important to see a professional about CKD as soon as possible. Head over to westsiderenal.com.au for more information on what you can do.

Stage 1 and 2 Symptoms

During the first two stages of CKD, there are usually little to no observable symptoms. There are namely two major telltale signs of kidney disease at stage 1 and 2 of CKD:

  • Protein in urine

  • Physical kidney damage

At this point, you can reduce the damage by eating a healthy diet, not smoking, exercising frequently, and keeping your blood pressure in check. If you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar may also help.

Stage 3 Symptoms

By the third stage of CKD, your kidneys are not working as they should and are moderately damaged. There are a few more noticeable symptoms at this point than the first two stages, namely:

  • Back pain

  • Irregular urination frequency

  • Swelling in feet and hands

  • Health complications such as high blood pressure, bone disease, and anaemia

  • Breathing difficulties

Stage 4 Symptoms

Symptoms do not change as much between stages 3 and 4, but the above-mentioned health complications may be more noticable. This is an important time to take action and organise regular meetings with a professional. You should also consider meeting a dietitian who can provide a healthy diet for you to follow.

It’s highly recommended that you make preparations for kidney failure at this stage. This means considering either dialysis or a transplant. In the latter case, you will have to be able to find a living kidney donor.

Stage 5 Symptoms

At the fifth and final stage of CKD, your kidneys are close to failure or have already failed. Stage 5 symptoms include:

  • Muscle cramps

  • Itching and discomfort

  • Lack of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Insomnia

  • Ammonia breath

  • Irregular urine colour and texture

  • Fatigue

  • Feeling cold when others are warm

Once again, it is essential that you start dialysis or get a kidney transplant in order to survive. This is why it’s extremely important to pay attention to any symptoms at an early stage and make changes in your lifestyle in order to prevent further damage to your kidneys.

Healthy eating, frequent exercise, avoiding drugs and cigarettes and making an overall effort to take care of your well-being will go a long way in helping you avoid this life-threatening disease.


If you feel like you’ve recently experienced any of the above symptoms, it may be a good idea to consult a professional so that they can perform the necessary tests to determine whether you have CKD. Doing it as soon as possible will save you from more trouble in the future.

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