How To Spot The Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

The kidneys have a very important and busy role when it comes to their functions in the overall working of the human body. These organs are charged with filtering out toxins that exist in your bloodstream and depositing those toxins into the bladder. The bladder empties the urine and so that residue leaves your body in a safe and expedient manner. The problem arises when the kidneys are unable to properly filter the waste components of your bloodstream and thus begin what we commonly know as kidney failure. In addition to that, they kidneys are also able to regulate the PH of plasma in the blood just like the lungs are constantly doing, but in some instances when the lungs are suffering and exchanging gases improperly, they kidneys pick up the slack and compensate through a slower, but more efficient process, and help the body reach the optimal acidity levels it should have.

Being such a busy organ, the kidneys may start to fail for many different reasons such as exposure to toxic environmental pollutants, severe dehydration, local trauma and certain types of acute and chronic diseases that may affect the normal functions. In some cases, people who suffer a heart attack, heart disease, a severe burn, a major infection or a severe allergic reaction have a high propensity to suffer from kidney failure because all of the former conditions may affect the amount of blood that flows to the kidneys.

Another factor that may cause renal problems is the inability of the kidneys to properly eliminate urine. This can happen due to obstructions in the urinary tract caused by kidney stones, some forms of cancer and in male patients mostly, enlarged prostate due to inflammation. When the kidneys are unable to send toxins to the bladder, they overload and begin damaging the organs.

The signs and symptoms of kidney failure are many and sometimes they are not even present in the earlier stages of the condition because the organs own resilience makes it difficult to detect before the situation is quite advanced. However, paying attention to these symptoms and getting tested can make a big difference in your own fight against the disease. Getting a urinalysis and a blood test is the best way to accurately predict if you, in fact, are prone or currently suffering from kidney disease that may eventually become kidney failure.


Image courtesy of Ed Uthman at

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of kidney disease. When your kidneys are healthy, they secrete a hormone called erythropoietin that regulates the production of red blood cells. When your kidneys are failing, the creation of this hormone is affected, thus making your blood’s oxygen level drop, something that causes fatigue and shortness of breath. Feeling like that can cause difficulty sleeping and a feeling like you are drowning when you can’t breathe.

The aforementioned anemia can also leave the brain oxygen-starved, something that causes dizziness, weakness and even the possibility of fainting. Something else that comes along is the difficulty to think clearly. This leads to memory problems and trouble with concentration. Patients often report that they forget the simplest task of having difficulty solving simply problems and concentrating on their reading.

Another common symptom is that of feeling extremely cold even when the room is warm. This is another side effect of the anemia caused by kidney failure.

Patients sometimes report itching all over the body. This happens because of the buildup of excess waste material in the bloodstream. Toxic waste in the blood causes severe itching all over the body, something that can become a real problem if the patient scratches constantly and breaks the skin.

Swelling in the hands, feet or even the face are not uncommon symptoms of kidney failure. This happens because they kidneys are not eliminating enough fluid out of the body and that remaining fluid can cause your joints and extremities to swell to the point of impairing mobility and causing a lot of pain and fatigue.

When your body is retaining waste that should have been eliminated, you may experience of a condition called uremia. Uremia may cause food to taste differently and cause bad breath with the smell of ammonia. Patients often say their food tastes like metal and stop eating meat altogether because they can’t stand the taste of it. This may cause a rapid and unhealthy weight loss. Uremia can also cause upset stomach, nausea, and vomiting.

Finally, one of the most important symptoms to consider and that sometimes gets ignored is the increased urge to urinate. People often don’t pay attention to these symptoms because they are commonly associated with other issues. Patients with kidney failure may notice they urinate more often than usual and with a strange pale color in their urine that is foamier than usual.How To Spot The Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

For more great information about dialysis, renal compensation and kidney disease in general, check out our other articles available in Joe Cosgrove’s Blog today.


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