10 Signs Of Kidney Disease You Need To Know

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition known by a gradual loss of kidney function over time.  In the United States, the incidence of chronic kidney disease is increasing more rapidly in people aged 65 or older, and in the last 15 years it has doubled. As it is the case with many diseases, early prevention and treatment are key to battling them. Checking your blood sugar level along with your doctor, maintaining good eating habits and a healthy body weight can go a long way in helping you prevent this and many other conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Here at Joe Cosgrove blog, we always bring you the best advice when it comes to everything having to do with your kidneys and the preventive health that comes along with these conditions. In today’s article, we want to talk about some of the most common symptoms and sign that while may seem unrelated to kidney health, they are very accurate indicators when present together, that something may be wrong and you should look into it.   

Doctor greating patient

Image courtesy of Vic at Flickr.com

Side Or Leg Pain

Pain is not usually a common symptom of chronic kidney disease and even pain that is felt in the area near the kidneys is usually not related to any renal condition. However, in some cases, those suffering from kidney problems may have pain located in the upper back area where the kidneys are or in the side of their torso. Sometimes these pains are related to other symptoms like bladder infections or cysts.

Changes In Urination

Changes in frequency or urges to urinate are only some of the most common symptoms related to kidney conditions. As the kidneys produce urine, it is common to also see urine that is particularly foamy, very pale or extremely dark in color or in some cases even containing blood. Difficulty urinating or feeling urges but being unable to discharge are also some commonly reported signs.

Itchy Skin

Since your kidneys work as a filter for toxins and remove waste from your bloodstream, their malfunctioning allows a build-up of that waste material in your blood, something that can cause severe itching all over your body and in some cases, visible rashes. It is not uncommon that patients scratch so much they break the skin.

Feeling Tired

Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin or EPO. The purpose of this hormone is to promote the creation of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less EPO, something that makes your muscles and brain tire very quickly. This is a common symptom of anemia. This feeling of being tired can be a symptom of many different things, but it is commonly present in kidney diseases.

Having Trouble Sleeping

When the kidneys aren’t working properly, waste stays in the blood rather than leaving the body through the urine. This can cause significant discomfort and inability to sleep. There is also a connection between obesity and chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea is more common in those with chronic kidney disease, compared with the general population.

Doctors Patient and Xray_dialysis_joe cosgrove_kidney disease, kidney failure

Image courtesy of andyde at Flickr.com


When the kidneys aren’t working properly, it is common for the body to retain excess fluids that cannot be eliminated normally through the urine. This condition of retaining fluids can cause swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, hands and in the face especially around the eyes. This puffiness around the eyes has to do with retaining more protein than normal inside the body.

Nausea And Vomiting

Uremia is a condition in which the body is over-saturated with waste and toxin build-up. When this happens, it is common for people to experience a lot of nausea and vomiting. Having a metallic taste on their mouth is also common and it makes the condition the more unbearable.

Shortness Of Breath

Extra fluid can build up in the lungs and the shortage of red blood cells in the blood can lead to the feeling of being short of air. Trouble catching your breath is a very common condition related to most kidney diseases. Feeling like you can’t breathe is a terrible feeling and it should not be ignored if it happens, so if this is present, you need to see your doctor immediately.

Dizziness And Trouble Concentrating

Anemia can affect the brain by not delivering enough oxygen through the blood. This condition can cause dizziness, memory loss, and real difficulty when concentrating. Even some of the simplest tasks can be taxing on a person suffering from chronic kidney disease. This leads to mental exhaustion and irritability as well.

Poor Appetite

On top of being a symptom of its own, the loss of appetite is very common in patients with kidney disease or renal related issues, and it can be severely made worse by other symptoms like nausea and dizziness that can cause you to stop eating on their own. The buildup of toxins saturates the body and shut down hunger and the need for food and fluid intake.


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