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Q: What are the signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease?

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 13 percent of the U.S. adult population suffers from chronic kidney disease. Experts say that number will increase as obesity rises in this country due to the link between obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure—risk factors for kidney disease. Other risk factors for chronic kidney disease include a family history of kidney disease and being over the age of 60.

Chronic kidney disease is a silent disease because there are often no symptoms in the early stages. As chronic kidney disease progresses, people may experience the following symptoms:

  • Frequent urination—especially during the night.
  • Fatigue and weakness or general feeling of being unwell.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Swelling in the hands or feet due to fluid retention.
  • Loss of appetite or nausea and vomiting.
  • Headaches.
  • Itching and dryness or numbness.
  • Muscle cramps.
  • Unusually dark or light skin.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Although kidney damage is not reversible, early detection of chronic kidney disease is important. There are things you can do to keep the condition from getting worse. Medication and lifestyle changes such as diet and regular exercise may be able to prevent further kidney damage. If the disease progresses and the kidneys fail, you will need to undergo regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Hemodialysis, a common type of dialysis, filters the blood through an artificial kidney using a special washing solution called a dialysate. Recently, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMC) recalled two of these products—GranuFlo and NaturaLyte—because of misleading product labeling that could lead to fatal dosage problems.

If you or a loved one had a hemodialysis treatment using GranuFlo or NaturaLyte between January 1, 2008, and June 30, 2012, and suffered a cardiac event during or shortly afterwards, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact a kidney dialysis attorney at Schmidt Kramer at (717) 888-8888 for more information.