Kidney Disease Symptoms

Since the kidneys are responsible for removing waste from our blood and preventing toxins from building up; taking care of them is vital for health.

There are many diseases that can cause damage to the kidneys. . Recognizing kidney disease symptoms is important so that needed treatment can begin early, and possibly prevent kidney failure or death.

Many times, the symptoms of kidney disease are subtle and go unnoticed until it is too late.  Monitor your body for these kidney disease symptoms:

1.       Changes in Urine and Urination

When there is kidney disease present, urination (and urine) may change.

  • Urine may have a foul odor.
  • Variation in normal urine color and clarity. Normal urine should be clear and light yellow straw colored.  Urine that is cloudy, dark or red tinted in color may indicate a problem. On the other hand urine with little or no color may indicate a problem as well.

2. Swelling

When kidneys are failing they cannot remove extra fluid and water from the body as they normally do.

  • Swelling may occur in the feet, hands, legs and face. Morning puffiness around the eyes may occur.

3. Fatigue

Normal healthy kidneys aid in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to the brain and body. With less oxygen you will tire more quickly. When the kidneys are compromised you may become anemic (low red blood cells).

4. Skin Rash/Itching

A buildup of wastes in your blood due to poor kidney function can cause severe itching.

5. Metallic Taste in Mouth/Ammonia Breath

This is caused by a buildup of wastes in the blood. This may affect your appetite because food tastes different.  The waste build up may be detected in as bad breath.

6.       Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea and vomiting from waste build up can occur as well.

7. Shortness of Breath/Difficulty Breathing

Shortness of breath can occur for two reasons:

  • The extra fluid the kidneys are not removing, collects in the lungs
  • The lack of oxygen carrying red blood cells (anemia) can make your body feel oxygen starved so it breathes faster in an attempt to take in more oxygen.

8. Feeling Cold

Anemia causes this.

9. Dizziness and  Difficulty or Lack of Concentration

This is associated with excess fluid accumulation, increased blood toxins and lack of oxygen.

10. Leg/Flank Pain

Some people with kidney disease complain of flank pain that may radiate into the legs. Flank pain occurs over the kidneys in the midsection of the back.

There are many diseases that affect the kidneys.  Chronic kidney disease is a long term illness marked by kidney damage from injury or disease. Chronic kidney disease often leads to kidney failure, which can only be treated by dialysis or transplant.  Early detection helps to slow the progression of the damage. The major causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.

Other types of kidney disease include:

  • Glomerulonephritis- the inflammation and damage of the kidneys filtration system.
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease-Hereditary disease where multiple cysts form in the kidneys.
  • Over use of analgesics such as Tylenol and ibuprophen.
  • Atherosclerosis-hardening of the arteries to the kidneys.

Treatment for these will depend on which one you are diagnosed with and the severity of it,