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When should I call my doctor if I have chronic kidney disease?

If you have chronic kidney disease you should call your doctor if your symptoms worsen, you develop new symptoms or experience complications from your disease.

You should also call your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms of chronic kidney disease but have not yet been diagnosed, or the underlying cause of your chronic kidney disease has not yet been determined. Chronic kidney disease means that your kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood normally, which can cause waste to build up in your body. Early diagnosis can help prevent chronic kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure. Symptoms of chronic kidney disease may include:
  • fatigue
  • difficulty concentrating
  • poor appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • muscle cramping at night
  • swollen feet and ankles
  • puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning
  • dry, itchy skin
  • frequent urination, especially at night
You should also talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes -- such as quitting smoking or lowering the salt in your diet -- that can help you manage your chronic kidney disease. You may need to talk to your doctor about referrals to other experts -- such as a dietician, a nephrologist, or heart disease expert -- who might be able to help you manage your kidney disease. Your doctor may also be able to refer you to a kidney disease support group in your area.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.