10 Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a tricky condition. Most people have no symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced. Most people with CKD feel well.

These symptoms often start very gradually and are not noticed until too late. By the time, some people with CKD feel ill, they may already be in a life threatening situation. That’s the big danger of CKD.

Here are the 10 symptoms of CKD.


No symptoms


Feeling more tired and having less energy


Having difficulty to concentrate


Having little appetite and possibly some nausea on and off.


Finding it hard to have a good night’s sleep.


Having muscle cramps at night


Having swollen feet and ankles and puffy eyes, especially in the morning (oedema)


Having a dry skin which is very itchy


Needing to urinate more often, especially at night.


Having difficulty breathing, initially on lying flat or climbing stairs. Later, the breathlessness becomes more and more frequent. This is possibly the most serious symptom of CKD.

Malade “les reins”

In Mauritius, there is a great misnomer – malade les reins. When someone comes and says that he/she is having ‘ les reins fer mal’, he/she is in fact referring to back ache (‘les dos fer mal’) and not to the kidney disease – per se!

So we need to clarify over and over again what is meant by ‘les reins’ and what we, as doctors, mean when we say that ‘ou les reins pas p travail assez’

Les reins – derived from latin ‘rēnēs’ – means the kidneys, two bean shaped organs found in the abdomen whose main function is to purify blood from toxins.

Prof John Cunningham at CardioMeet 2020

Renal Association senior members were well represented at the lecture by Professor John Cunningham – University College London, UK on “The kidney as a driver of cardiovascular disease” at CardioMeet 2020 held by the Cardiovascular Society (Mauritius).

The dramatic impact of kidney disease on cardiovascular mortality.

It was an emphatic and eloquent lecture from Prof J Cunningham who was beating the drum for nephrology at the cardiologists dominated conference.

Renal Association President Dr Fagoonee moderating.
Dr Gaya in the front row while RA Secretary Dr Ip asks a question.

It was a nice tantalising taster to the planned Renal Association conference “Let’s Talk Kidneys” in July.