The National Kidney Foundation says that chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects about 37 million individuals in the US. The condition indicates that your kidneys have sustained damage and are losing their effectiveness; as it becomes more severe, waste may accumulate in your blood, making you feel ill and ultimately leading to kidney failure, which is a sign of end-stage kidney disease and signifies the need of a kidney transplant.
About 90 percent of those who have CKD are unaware of their condition. The Mayo Clinic lists potential signs of kidney failure:
- Fluid retention that leads to swelling in the legs, ankles, or feet
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain
- Intermittent, decreased urine output
In more severe cases, kidney failure can also culminate in seizures or even a coma. Other times, it can be asymptomatic and be caught through lab tests conducted for other reasons. The Mayo Clinic asserts that it’s important to contact your doctor as soon as possible–or perhaps even seek emergency treatment–if you suspect you may be showing signs of the condition.