ASK, ANSWER, LEARN
I need to know what symptoms can occur with chronic kidney disease, or CKD, since it runs in my family. How can I be certain about whether I have CKD?
Gerald C. Groggel, MD answered:Chronic kidney disease is often a disease without symptoms until very late in the course of the illness. People with chronic kidney disease or CKD will not have any warning signs except possibly having elevated blood pressure or swelling of the legs and feet. The only way to identify chronic kidney disease is with a blood or urine test. The blood test is a measurement of serum creatinine that measures kidney function. As the kidneys start to fail, the serum creatinine increases. The urine test checks for the presence of protein or blood in the urine. Protein in the urine in particular is a marker of kidney disease. In fact, protein in the urine is more important as a marker for progressive kidney disease than is an elevated serum creatinine. To screen for chronic kidney disease, blood pressure should also be measured. A blood pressure reading of greater than 140/90 is elevated.
People at risk for chronic kidney disease include anyone with hypertension or diabetes mellitus. Anyone with these conditions should be screened annually for chronic kidney disease. Other persons at risk for chronic kidney disease include those with a family history of chronic kidney disease, a history of kidney stones or frequent urinary tract infections, and possibly persons with cardiovascular (heart) disease. Diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure account for about 75% of all chronic kidney disease. If you have any of these risk factors, you should ask your healthcare provider about screening for chronic kidney disease with blood and urine tests.
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