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15 Kidney Disease Symptoms You Might Have Missed

Did you know that your kidneys could be in jeopardy without you even realizing it? During it’s earliest stages, kidney disease symptoms don’t always present themselves clearly. Most cases aren’t diagnosed until after it has reached a critical stage.

Kidney failure is deadly, so being able to recognize kidney disease symptoms can save your life. Read on to learn about 15 different signs that can signal the presence of kidney disease or other issues. By the way, it’s National Kidney Month so spread the word this month!

Contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

1) Changes in Urinary Function

Changes in the amount or frequency of urine produced is an early symptom of kidney disease. There may be an increase or decrease in production, dark discoloration, issues with flow even though the need to urinate is present, or fluctuations in the frequency of urination.

Frequent urination at night is one of the earliest and most prevalent symptoms of chronic kidney disease, and thus it should not be ignored even if the change seems trivial. More symptoms will usually develop after the kidneys have lost approximately 80% of its function.

Kidney disease causes woman to urinate more often

2) Pain or Difficulty While Urinating

At times you may feel pressure, pain, or have difficulty while emptying the bladder. This could indicate a urinary tract infection which could spread to your kidneys and cause pain or fever in your back.

3) Blood in the Urine

The presence of blood in the urine is definitely a kidney disease symptom that should not be ignored. If you notice this type of discoloration in your urine, please visit a doctor immediately.

4) Protein in the Urine

Unlike blood, protein can’t be easily detected in the urine. As the kidneys lose function, excess protein will build up and your body will start expelling it through urine. This kidney disease symptom should be noted but can only be detected through a urine test.

5) Foamy Urine

Urine that appears to be really foamy is actually caused by the leakage of protein from the body and is another symptom of kidney disease.

6) Swelling or Oedema

Kidneys are responsible for the removal of waste and excess fluid. When renal impairment or kidney disease develops, fluid will start to build up in the body. This excess water and salt will collect and swell in the ankles, feet, face and hands.

7) Extreme Fatigue, Anemia, or Weakness

The kidneys assist red blood cells in carrying oxygen with a hormone that they produce called erythropoietin. After they malfunction, the levels of this hormone drop dramatically, which causes a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body. As a result, the body becomes anemic, which also causes symptoms such as weakness and extreme fatigue.

Woman's fatigue is a symptom of her kidney disease

8) Dizziness and Inability to Concentrate

Oxygen in the brain may also be depleted by anemic kidneys. This can lead to concentration issues, dizziness, and other cognitive problems.

9) Constantly Feeling Cold

Anaemic kidneys may also cause you to feel cold in a warm surrounding. Kidney infection, also called pyelonephritis, may cause fever and chills.

10) Skin Rashes and Itching

Though many confuse these kidney disease symptoms with other conditions like allergies, rashes may also be indicative of kidney disease or failure. The waste that can build up due to kidney malfunction causes serious rashes and itching.

11) Ammonia breath or Metallic Taste in Your Mouth

Kidney failure increases levels of urea present in the blood, which is broken down to ammonia in the saliva that leads to ammonia breath, or urine-scented breath. Ammonia breath is typically paired with a distinct metallic taste in the mouth, called dysgeusia.

12) Nausea and Vomiting

Built-up waste present in the blood from kidney failure can also induce nausea and vomiting.

13) Lack of Appetite

Since kidney disease tends to present without symptoms, toxins can build up unnoticed in the body until diagnosis. Lack of appetite on its own may not indicate renal failure, but it could be a sign of kidney disease if you’ve also experienced some of the symptoms listed above. It is generally a result of built-up toxins in the body.

14) Shortness of Breath

Severe kidney disease in the later stages can lead to shortness of breath caused by a buildup of fluid in the lungs. Anemia, a common side-effect of renal failure, also restricts your body of oxygen, leading to breathlessness.

15) Pain in Your Sides or Back

Though not present in everyone with renal failure, pain in the sides or back is a common indicator of a problem. Usually the pain feels like a severe cramp that starts in the lower back and travels to the groin.

Woman's pain is a kidney disease symptom

Other conditions that could be indicated by back and side pain are:

  1. Kidney stones
  2. Fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys
  3. Polycystic kidney disease
  4. Chronic inflammation of the bladder wall known as interstitial cystitis

There are several kidney disease symptoms, but few will draw your attention if you don’t know what to look for. If one of the symptoms above presents itself, you should go to the doctor immediately. Awareness and action are key in protecting your health.

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