How to Manage Your Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be quite bothersome. When your kidneys aren’t functioning as they should, this can result in a number of different health problems, some of which may become very serious.

However, you don’t have to just accept painful and sometimes ominous symptoms as part of your new normal. You are able to make some adjustments in your life in order to deal with these symptoms.

It’s quite helpful to know all of the symptoms that you can experience in chronic kidney disease so that you’re better equipped to take charge of your health.

Common Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

Some people experience few or minimal symptoms from chronic kidney disease during the early stages. Early symptoms can be light and easily confused with other health issues since most symptoms are nonspecific.

It’s important to talk to your doctor to clarify any concerns that you have, even if you only experience a few of these symptoms.

Nausea and Fatigue

Increased nausea is a common symptom of kidney issues, as is vomiting. You may experience full-body discomfort such as muscle cramps or spasms, and you’re likely to feel more fatigued than usual.

If these symptoms don’t have a clear cause, it doesn’t always mean kidney disease, but it’s a good idea to seek medical attention from a professional nonetheless.

Changes in Appetite or Sleeping Habits

Kidney problems may interfere with your usual sleeping and eating routines. You may feel less hungry than usual, and while some brain fog is common, you may also have more difficulty falling and staying asleep.

Appetite and sleeping issues are also common symptoms for a variety of conditions. Like nausea and fatigue, it’s worth keeping an eye on these symptoms and addressing any concerns with your doctor.

Fluid Build-up

Your kidneys control your body’s ability to process and dispose of excess fluids. When they’re damaged, you can retain fluid, which leads to uncomfortable swelling in your arms, legs, hands, and feet.

Fluid can also build up in more dangerous areas, such as in your lungs and around your heart. If you have difficulty breathing or experience chest pain, don’t delay in getting checked out by a physician.

Unusual Urination

Since your kidneys are part of your renal system, many people experience changes in how frequently they urinate. The kidneys are no longer able to filter and concentrate waste in your urine normally, which can result in more frequent urges to urinate.

This is an especially telling sign if you find yourself waking up frequently at night to use the restroom. If chronic kidney disease progresses, your urine may turn into a dark or unusual color such as red, brown, or sometimes purple.

Lifestyle Changes for Managing Symptoms

Many people can have success managing their symptoms just by making a few changes to their usual lifestyle. Fixing your diet, increasing your activity, and decreasing your indulgence in alcohol and tobacco can save you from dealing with more troubling symptoms later on.

Adjust Your Diet

Diet plays a huge role in your overall health, including the health of your kidneys. Eating healthy can go a long way toward easing many symptoms.

Try to limit the number of foods you eat that contain compounds your kidneys struggle to process. Foods that contain high-salt and high-fat and high phosphorus, high potassium, and high protein are best kept to a minimum consumption.

You should also keep an eye on your blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes. Adopting a diabetes-friendly diet is critical for managing kidney disease symptoms and preventing further kidney damage.


Exercise is great for your body, but you don’t necessarily have to become a gym rat to stay in shape. Just 30 minutes of light aerobic exercise a few times a week can have a huge impact on your well-being, which means there’s little excuse not to do it.

If you aren’t able to do light cardio exercise, try some simple strength training with dumbbells, or even some yoga exercises can be helpful. Anything that gets you moving is worth doing.

Exercise and proper nutrition are the keys to managing your weight. Obesity can exacerbate kidney damage, so burning off excess body fat is always a good idea.

Avoid Tobacco and Alcohol

Smoking and drinking can increase your risk of developing or worsening chronic kidney disease by over five times. The best thing you can do for your body is to cut back seriously or eliminate the bad habits.

Other Chronic Kidney Disease Treatments

Lifestyle changes aren’t the only chronic kidney disease treatments available. Your doctor can provide you with important resources for medications and procedures that treat your condition.

For early stages of kidney disease, you might take vitamins, supplements, and medications such as diuretics. Later stages of the disease may require a procedure such as a kidney transplant or a procedure to facilitate dialysis. If possible, it’s best to prevent further kidney decline with careful treatment of the kidneys from the start.

Final Thoughts

The symptoms of kidney disease don’t have to be overwhelming. With proper kidney management and small lifestyle changes, you can manage your symptoms efficiently and keep your kidneys as healthy as possible.

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