There are many potential causes of kidney problems and kidney disease including diabetes, hypertension, infections, certain types of medications, and even following of an unhealthy diet. Kidney disease can be a silent killer which means that oftentimes perceivable symptoms of kidney disease may not become apparent until the damage done to the kidneys is already too great. If this is the case, the only remaining treatment alternatives may be in the form of dialysis or a kidney transplant. To prevent such a scenario, it is important to be aware of a wide range of potential symptoms which may be indicative of kidney disease, in order to help spot the disease as early as possible. For this reason, here is a list presenting thirteen symptoms which can be indicative of kidney disease.
Extreme fatigue, dizziness and problems concentrating: Kidneys are responsible for producing a hormone called erythropoietin which in turn supports the production of red blood cells. A lack of red blood cells means that less oxygen can be transported throughout the body and be delivered to your brain and muscles, making it more difficult to concentrate and stay fit. This condition is also known as anemia.
Changes in urinary behavior: Changes may include an increase/decrease in urination frequency with pale urine/dark colored urine. One may have to get up at night to urinate. The urine may be foamy (like beer). One may experience difficulties urinating, even when one feels the urge to urinate.
Blood in the urine: Kidney disease may result in damage to the small blood vessels in the kidneys which in turn can cause blood to leak into the urine. This is certainly a cause for concern and, while there may be other causes, one should not hesitate to visit ones doctor in case this is noticed.
Pain during urination: Kidney disease can cause or be caused by urinary tract infections which may produce symptoms such as pain or burning during urination. These infections can also be responsible for causing back pains when they spread to the kidneys.
Increased blood pressure: A higher retention of fluids in the body, resulting from poor kidney function, may result in higher blood pressure. This also increases one’s risk of developing hypertension and/or suffering from congestive heart failure.
Skin Rashes and Itching: One of the main function of kidneys is to remove wastes and toxins from the bloodstream. When kidneys do not function properly, the build-up of wastes in the blood can result in sever skin rashes and itching.
Swelling: Poor functioning kidneys fail to remove extra fluids from the body. This fluids can then build up in the body causing swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, hands and/or face.
Constant feeling of coldness: Kidney disease may cause you to feel cold constantly even when you find yourself in warm surroundings, due to anemia.
Bad breath and metallic taste: Impaired kidney functioning can lead to an accumulation of a urea in the blood (called uremia). Excessive amounts of urea are broken down by saliva into ammonia causing a foul smelling breadth called ammonia breadth. In addition, urea can produce a metallic taste in the mouth, and change the taste of food, causing some people to stop liking meat and drop weight due to a lack of appetite.
Nausea and vomiting: The build-up of waste products in the bloodstream, due to kidney disease, can also cause nausea and vomiting. This can again result in loss of appetite and weight loss.
Shortness of breath: Aside from the lack of oxygen resulting from anemia, kidney disease can also cause fluid to build up in the lungs. This may reduce ones levels of stamina and make it more difficult to catch ones breath.
Back pain or pain in the sides: Some people with kidney problems may experience pain in the lower back or the side of the affected kidney. This may be caused by infections or the presence of kidney stones making their way through the urinary tract. Furthermore, people suffering from polycystic kidney disease, which causes large cysts filled with fluid to develop on the kidneys, may also experience pain.
Impaired growth (in children only): Children suffering from kidney disease may also experience poor or slow growth.
You should keep in mind that many of the presented symptoms can be caused by reasons other than kidney disease. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing one or more of the aforementioned symptoms, or you are worried about kidney problems in general, you should consider making an appointment with a nephrologist (kidney specialist). Remember, kidney disease should be identified as early as possible because the further the illness has progressed, the more difficult it will be to treat it successfully.
The following video from the National Kidney foundation provides additional helpful information concerning symptoms of kidney disease:
Enjoyed reading this article on potential symptoms of kidney disease? Then perhaps you may also like our article presenting some great tips and guidelines for establishing a healthy kidney diet.