15 Most Common Symptoms of Kidney Disease
The kidney’s function is to filter the waste materials out of the blood and eliminate them in the form of urine. Besides this, the kidney is also responsible for regulating the blood pressure and the level of salt, water, and minerals (such as phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium) in the body.
When the kidney fails to perform all or any of these functions, the doctor will diagnose you with kidney disease. The gradual progression from unhealthy to chronic kidney disease and finally to kidney failure is very subtle. It is accompanied by a few or no kidney disease symptoms in the early stage.
Kidneys produce Erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that helps develop oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Impaired kidneys result in less production of EPO, leading to fewer red blood cells, and hence your muscles and brain get tired often. This condition is referred to as anemia.
Due to anemia, you may feel cold all the time, even in a warm environment. Since an adequate amount of oxygen cannot reach various parts of the body due to a lack of red blood cells, it is common to feel cold.
Shortness of breath
There can be two reasons for shortness of breath in kidney patients. First, extra fluid in the body could have built up in the lungs, and second can be due to anemia which leaves your body oxygen-starved and short of breath.
As the functioning of the kidney decreases, you may urinate more frequently and in greater amounts than usual. Moreover, you may even feel pressure or difficulty in passing urine.
As the kidney fails, it cannot eliminate the extra fluid from the body, which builds up in various parts of the body and causes swelling. In kidney patients, swelling is mainly observed in legs, ankles, feet, and or hands.
When the waste material is not being flushed out of the body effectively, it is evident that there will be excess toxicity in the body resulting in irritated skin, acne, rashes, dry skin, hives, and severely itchy skin.
Upset stomach and nausea
An increase in toxic waste in the blood (uremia) causes loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting, leading to weight loss. Kidney patients feel nauseated most of the time.
Patients with kidney disease often complain about metallic taste or ammonia breath. This symptom occurs weeks or months before actual kidney failure due to uremia in the individual’s mouth.
Trouble in concentrating
Failing kidneys means lack of oxygen-carrying red blood cells in the body, less supply of oxygen to the brain. This leads to becoming forgetful and lacking concentration.
High blood potassium
As discussed earlier, kidneys are responsible for regulating minerals (like potassium and calcium). Kidney failure leads to elevated levels of potassium in the body.
Seizures or coma
When the buildup of toxins in the body becomes extreme because the failing kidney cannot eliminate it from the body, this condition leads to seizures or coma.
Toxic buildup in the body causes another cognitive issue that is difficulty in sleeping and staying asleep.
Foamy or bubbly or Brown, red, or purple urine
Kidneys make urine, so when they fail, urine is also affected. Your urine may be bubbly or foamy or contain blood. You may urinate less frequently and in smaller quantities than usual.
You feel excessive thirst because the body tries to recover the loss of fluids due to frequent urination.
Impaired kidney function leads to decreased sex drive in patients (men and women both). This is due to a low level of testosterone and a lack of blood supply.
If you are experiencing one or more kidney disease symptoms discussed above, quickly consult a doctor. There are medications and medical procedures that are effective in the treatment of kidney disease. Without any delay, book your appointment today!