Kidney Disease: 6 Warning Signs and Symptoms

Your kidneys are extremely vital in the proper functioning of your body. Kidneys are the organs that are located behind your abdomen, parallel to your spine. The kidneys play a major role in keeping your blood pressure, fluids, and electrolyte levels in check.

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The kidneys is at a constant risk infection and kidney disease. Listed below are early signs and symptoms to warn you of kidney disease. These signs may be unrelated a lot of times, but if you have several of these symptoms it’s a good idea to consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and timely detection.

The symptoms of kidney disease especially at the early stage is usually quite vague or elusive, making it hard to diagnose. The only way you can accurately identify them is through medical tests of the blood and urine. However, there are some physical signs that could also alert you.

1. Back pain

Lower back pain or pain at your side could point to a kidney disease, especially in elderly patients. It could also indicate a urinary tract infection or kidney stones. If this occurs, then kidney disease is already at an advanced stage. Other accompanying symptoms may include burning sensation when passing out urine or difficulty urinating.

2. Edema or Water retention

This is perhaps one of the strongest signs of kidney disease. Edema or water retention could be caused by a lot of different factors, but kidney failure is a major one. Since the kidneys control the levels of water and sodium in your body, a failure can prevent them from remaining in balance.

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This symptom can also arise when you have a ample loss of protein in the urine, a condition known as nephrotic syndrome.

  1. Changes in the urine

Your ability to detect the urine from a healthy and sick kidney can help you to know when your kidney is in critical condition.

Some urine signs to indicate when your kidneys are in trouble include:

  • Urine becomes foamy or bubbly in appearance.
  • Urine becomes dark in color with a foul smell.
  • You produce more urine, with a very pale color.
  • Stronger urge to urinate in the middle of the night
  • You have difficulty urinating more than four times a day.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Blood in your urine.

4. Excessive fatigue

When your body finds it difficult to transport oxygen to your cells through the bloodstream, it leads to chronic fatigue. It can occur due to a developing problem with your kidneys.

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Your kidneys play a vital role in the production of red blood cells, and when they worsen, they don’t produce enough of them. Anemia can occur when your body has short supply of red blood cell. Since your body requires the red blood cells to transport oxygen to the rest of the body to give you energy, shortage in the amount of red blood cells equally means a shortage of energy.

5. Itchy skin

Kidneys help to get of many of the toxins found in your bloodstream through the urine. When they breakdown, wastes accumulate in the tissues and it’s normal to feel itchy sensation under the skin.

  1. Bad breath

When a person’s kidney fails, it can cause the accumulation of toxins in the bloodstream, leading to mouth odor that smells of ammonia and a metallic taste. Despite your proper oral hygiene, bad breath is difficult to control when related to kidney failure.

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The symptoms listed above can equally be caused by multiple conditions. So it’s essential to consult your doctor if you notice one or more of the symptoms above.

Disclaimer: The content provided on is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical doctor or healthcare professional.


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