The symptoms for early stage of kidney disease are so faint that often it takes years to discover that someone may have kidney disease.
The purpose of this article is to empower you with knowledge so that at the end of this reading you are equipped to understand the symptoms of kidney failure or kidney disease. Please keep in mind, many of these symptoms can be caused by something other than kidney disease, so the only way to confirm is to have regular checkups and see your doctor.
1. Urine:Usually urine is a prime indicator for a lot of things happening in your body. Its color, frequency and quantity can deliver a lot of information. Since kidneys make urine, this could be the prime indicator to determine the health of your kidneys.
Some of the things that may point to a potential problem are: foamy or bubbly urine, increase in frequency and quantity, pale urine, dark colored urine, blood in the urine and difficulty urinating.
2. Swelling: Kidneys make urine, and extra fluid is disposed from the body through it.If there is a kidney problem, fluid will start to build up in the body, and that will lead to swelling in the ankles, feet, face and hands.
3. Skin Rash/Itching:Kidneys remove waste from the bloodstream. When kidneys fail, the buildup of waste in your blood can cause severe itching.
4. Nausea and Vomiting:A severe buildup of waste in the blood (uremia) can also cause nausea and vomiting. Loss of appetite can lead to weight loss.
5. Shortness of Breath:Trouble catching your breath can be related to kidneys in two ways. First, extra fluid in the body can build up in the lungs. And second, anemia (a shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells) can leave your body oxygen-starved and you short of breath.
Other symptoms may include tiredness, metallic taste in the mouth, pain in the side and trouble concentrating.
Here is a chart indicating the stages of kidney disease:
|1||Slight kidney damage with normal or increased filtration||More than 90|
|2||Mild decrease in kidney function||60-89|
|3||Moderate decrease in kidney function||30-59|
|4||Severe decrease in kidney function||15-29|
|5||Kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplantation||Less than 15|
What to do once you realize you have kidney disease?
Understand your lab tests: Once your doctor suspects that you have kidney disease, he/she is going to request some lab tests including blood and urine. Make an effort to understand the readings and what the consequences are if the readings get out of range. Get involved in your own care. Be proactive and know what is going on with your body.
Diabetes and Hypertension: The two main causes for kidney disease are diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure). Take charge and monitor these two conditions very closely. If these are ignored, things may get out of control sooner than you think. Diabetes will also start to impact your eyesight. Speak with your doctor and learn how both diabetes and hypertension can be kept under control.
Protein: Kidneys that are already compromised will need to work overtime to digest high protein food. Start a low protein diet.
Smoking: If you are a smoker suffering from diabetes and start to have kidney issues, stop smoking immediately. Smoking will cause irreparable damage and will cause the kidney disease to grow much faster.
Medication: Do not take any medication without consulting your doctor, especially pain killers.
Anemia: Anemia is a pretty common side effect of kidney disease. Consult your doctor to address this issue.