Kidney Disease


10 Symptoms of Kidney Disease



More than 26 million American adults are living with kidney disease and the majority do not know it. There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but people will often attribute these signs to other conditions.



Are you more tired, have less energy, or are have trouble concentrating? A severe exhausted.pngdecrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of poisons, impurities and toxins in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak and can make it hard to concentrate.  Anemia is a common complication of kidney disease, which can cause weakness and fatigue.



Do you have a poor appetite?  This is a very general symptom, but a buildup of poison resulting from reduced kidney function can be one of the causes.



Are you having trouble sleeping?  When the kidneys are not filtering properly, toxins stay in the blood rather than leaving the body through the urine.  This can make it difficult to sleep.  There is also a link between chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea.  Sleep apnea is more common in those with chronic kidney disease, compared with the general population especially if the person is severely over weight.



1145095-Cartoon-Of-A-Itchy-Boy-Scratching-His-Chest-And-Back-Royalty-Free-Vector-Clipart.jpgIs your skin dry and itchy?  Healthy kidneys do many important jobs. They remove wastes and extra fluid from your body, help make red blood cells, help keep bones strong, and work to maintain the right amount of minerals in your blood.  Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often accompanies advanced kidney disease. The kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.



Are you experiencing persistent puffiness around your eyes?  Protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidneys’ filters have been damaged. Damaged kidneys allow protein to leak into the urine.  The puffiness around your eyes can be due to the fact that your kidneys are leaking a large amount of protein in the urine, rather than keeping it in the body.



Do your muscles cramp?  Electrolyte imbalances can result from impaired kidney function.  For example, when low calcium levels are poorly controlled the phosphorus found in food and drinks may contribute to muscle cramping.



Are your ankles and feet swollen?  swollen_feet_by_jerrykongart-d388jbm.jpgDecreased kidney function can lead to sodium retention, causing swelling in your feet and ankles.  Swelling in the lower extremities can also be a sign of heart disease, liver disease and chronic leg pain problems.



Do you feel the need to urinate more often?  If you feel the need to urinate more often, especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease.  When the kidneys’ filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate.  This can also be a sign of a urinary infection or an enlarged prostate in men.



Do you see blood in your urine?  Healthy kidneys typically keep the blood cells in the body when filtering wastes from the blood to create urine.  When the kidney’s filters have been damaged, these blood cells can start to “leak” out into the urine.  In addition to signaling kidney disease, blood in the urine can be indicative of tumors, kidney stones, or an infection.



Is your urine foamy? kidney.gifExcess bubbles in the urine, especially those that require you to flush several times before they go away, indicate protein in the urine.  This foam may look like the foam you see when scrambling eggs, as the common protein found in urine, “albumin”, is the same protein that is found in eggs.



If you are at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, have a family history of kidney failure or if you are older than age 60, it’s important to get tested annually for kidney disease.  Those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing, poisons have built up, or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. The only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested.  Be sure to mention any symptoms you are experiencing to your healthcare practitioner.



Cited:  The National Kidney Foundation News….August 2014.