Often overlooked or ignored, the subtle signs of Chronic Kidney Disease and Polycystic Kidney Disease continue to do damage, progressing until there is no alternative aside from some form of dialysis.
There are 10 key symptoms of kidney disease. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, please consult a doctor and ask for the proper blood and urine tests.
Some of these symptoms may be related to conditions other than kidney disease, but only a doctor can offer a diagnosis after seeing your test results.
1. Changes in Urination
Because the function of your kidneys is making urine, thereby eliminating waste, any changes in the frequency, color, or appearance of urine should be taken seriously. Some common changes include:
- Urinating more often during the night or in greater amounts
- Urinating less often or in smaller amounts
- Having foamy or bubbly urine or blood in your urine
- Difficulty urinating
- If your kidneys aren’t able to get rid of the extra fluid from your body, more than likely you’ll experience swelling in your legs, ankles, feet, face or hands.
3. Skin Rash / Itching
- If your kidneys cannot remove waste from the bloodstream, the buildup of waste/toxins can cause rashes and severe itching.
4. Leg, Back or Side Pain
- Kidney complications can result in back pain, either isolated or as is often the case, down the side and down to the leg.
- Kidney cysts (large, fluid-filled sacs) that form on kidneys and occasionally on the liver, are the result of Polycystic Kidney Disease (an inherited disorder) and cause back and leg pain.
5. Metallic Taste in Mouth/Ammonia Breath
- When the unfiltered waste builds up in your bloodstream, it can cause bad breath, a metallic taste in the mouth, and affect how your food tastes.
- A change of appetite and weight loss are also symptoms. However…this is not a happy road to weight loss.
6. Nausea and Vomiting
- The buildup of waste products in the blood can also cause nausea and vomiting.
7. Feeling Cold
Healthy kidneys make a hormone named erythropoietin, which prompts the body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
- Kidney disease can interrupt the healthy production of this hormone and cause a decrease in red blood cells, a condition known as anemia.
8. Shortness of Breath
Kidney disease can also cause extra fluid to build up in the lungs, leading to shortness of breath.
- Anemia, another common side-effect of kidney disease starves your body of oxygen and can also make you feel short of breath.
9. Dizziness and Trouble Concentrating
If you become anemic due to kidney failure, both your body and your brain will lack the right amount of oxygen. This can result in dizziness and memory/concentration problems.
This is often one of the first indicators…that constant, extreme fatigue. When anemia sets in due to kidney failure, you may experience tired muscles, weakness, and overall fatigue.
Stay in tune with your body and its organs.
Some preventive measures, and immediately reporting any unusual or new symptoms to your physician, are crucial steps to prevent kidney disease to advance. It could save you the discomfort of dialysis treatments or the need for a kidney transplant.
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