Do You Identify Chronic Kidney Disease Being an Invisible Illness?

Today, I'd like to talk about chronic kidney disease (CKD) and how it can be considered an invisible illness. You might be wondering, invisible illness? What does that even mean?

CKD doesn't have many visible symptoms

You see, when you have CKD, you might not look any different from a healthy person. There are often no visible symptoms or physical changes that people can see just by looking at you. You might appear all fresh and ready to go and have some fun, but that doesn't mean that you're not struggling with the disease on a daily basis. In fact, it's quite the opposite.

Featured Forum

View all responses caret icon

CKD affects the functioning of your kidneys, which are responsible for filtering waste and excess fluids from your blood. When your kidneys aren't working properly, toxins can build up in your body. This causes a range of symptoms like fatigue, nausea, swelling, and difficulty sleeping. These symptoms can be debilitating and impact your quality of life in many ways.

These symptoms are so hard to deal with.

CKd can be hard for others to understand

But here's the thing, because these symptoms aren't visible to others, it can be hard for people to understand the severity of the disease. It's not uncommon for those with CKD to feel like they have to constantly explain their condition to others. Or to feel like people don't believe them when they say they're not feeling well.

Personally, I've had moments where I've felt like I have to put on a brave face and pretend like everything's okay, even when I'm feeling terrible. It can be exhausting to have to constantly explain what's going on with my body. Sometimes it feels like people just don't get it.

I have to sit in a gathering of lots of people and the first question that they might ask is what’s wrong with your skin color? First off, I have psoriasis, and my kidney numbers were dropping. Most know about my psoriasis, but not my kidneys. They say my skin is a different color at times. There are days I just don’t have enough energy to have a long conversation. My body does not have that kind of stamina right now.

We must continue to talk about living with kidney disease

That's why it's important for us to raise awareness about CKD as an invisible illness. We need to start conversations about the challenges of living with the disease and help people understand that just because we might not "look sick," doesn't mean that we're not struggling. This is especially true when we have other chronic illnesses.

So, the next time you hear someone talking about invisible illnesses, don't forget about CKD. And if you're living with the disease yourself, know that you're not alone. Even though it may not be visible to others, the impact of CKD is very real, and it's okay to ask for help and support when you need it.

And most importantly, don’t ever forget this. We all are in this together. Brave and strong but it is okay to snatch the mask off and live the reality of your condition at times.

This or That

In addition to chronic kidney disease, do you also live with diabetes?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Chronic-Kidney-Disease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.

Community Poll

Have you taken our In America Survey yet?