'In the early stages of many kidney diseases, there are no symptoms at all. Kidney function needs to be quite badly damaged before any symptoms become noticeable. At first these are usually very vague and non-specific, and easily confused with many other conditions. A general slowing down and tiredness are common. Later symptoms may include loss of appetite, itching, poor sleep, and many others. Urine tests may show blood or protein that should not normally be there. Blood pressure may be high. But trouble passing urine is rarely caused by kidney trouble, and pain around the kidneys is an uncommon symptom in kidney disease, except with kidney stones.'
Professor Neil Turner, Renal Unit at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh