Symptoms Of Kidney Diseases

10 Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Many people who have chronic kidney disease don’t know it, because the early signs can be very subtle. It can take many years to go from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to kidney failure. Some people with CKD live out their lives without ever reaching kidney failure.

However, for people at any stage of kidney disease, knowledge is power. Knowing the symptoms of kidney disease can help you get the treatment you need to feel your best. If you or someone you know has one or more of the following symptoms of kidney disease, or you are worried about kidney problems, see a doctor for blood and urine tests. Remember, many of the symptoms can be due to reasons other than kidney disease. The only way to know the cause of your symptoms is to see your doctor.

Symptom 1: Changes in Urination

Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?

  • You may have to get up frequently at night to urinate.
  • Urine may be foamy or bubbly. You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine.
  • You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual with dark colored urine.
  • Your urine may contain blood.
  • You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating.

What patients said:

“When you go to use the restroom, you couldn’t get it all out. And it would still feel just like tightness down there, there was so much pressure.”

“My urine is what I had started noticing. Then I was frequently going to the bathroom, and when I got there, nothing’s happening. You think, ‘Hey, I’ve got to go to the john,’ and you get there: two, three drops.”

“I was passing blood in my urine. It was so dark it looked like grape Kool-Aid. And when I went to the hospital they thought I was lying about what color it was.”

Symptom 2: Swelling

Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face, and/or hands.

What patients said:

“I remember a lot of swelling in my ankles. My ankles were so big I couldn’t get my shoes on.”

“My sister, her hair started to fall out, she was losing weight, but her face was really puffy, you know, and everything like that, before she found out what was going on with her.”

“Going to work one morning, my left ankle was swollen, real swollen, and I was very exhausted just walking to the bus stop. And I knew then that I had to see a doctor.”

Symptom 3: Fatigue

Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin (a-rith’-ro-po’-uh-tin) that tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less erythropoietin. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain become tired very quickly. This condition is called anemia, and it can be treated.

What patients said:

“I was constantly exhausted and didn’t have any pep or anything.”

“I would sleep a lot. I’d come home from work and get right in that bed.”

“It’s just like when you’re extremely tired all the time. Fatigued, and you’re just drained, even if you didn’t do anything, just totally drained.”

Symptom 4: Skin Rash/Itching

Kidneys remove wastes from the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, the buildup of wastes in your blood can cause severe itching.

What patients said:

“It’s not really a skin itch or anything, it’s just right down to the bone. I had to get a brush and dig. My back was just bloody from scratching it so much.”

“My skin had broke out, I was itching and scratching a lot.”

Symptom 5: Metallic Taste in Mouth/Ammonia Breath

A buildup of wastes in the blood (called uremia) can make food taste different and cause bad breath. You may also notice that you stop liking to eat meat, or that you are losing weight because you just don’t feel like eating.

What patients said:

“Foul taste in your mouth. Almost like you’re drinking iron.”

“You don’t have the appetite you used to have.”

“Before I started dialysis, I must have lost around about 10 pounds.”

Pages: 1 2