Most people are not aware of the fact that kidney diseases can be
silent killers. They may not show any symptoms for a long time till the
situation becomes critical. It is important to recognize the symptoms of
kidney diseases to catch them early. Here is a list of twelve such
symptoms you should look out for:
in your urinary function: The first symptom of kidney disease is
changes in the amount, frequency of your urination. There may be an
increase or decrease in amount and/or its frequency, especially at
night. It may also look more dark coloured. You may feel the urge to
urinate but are unable to do so when you get to the restroom.
Difficulty or pain during voiding: Sometimes you have difficulty or feel
pressure or pain while voiding. Urinary tract infections may cause
symptoms such as pain or burning during urination. When these infections
spread to the kidneys they may cause fever and pain in your back.
3. Blood in the urine: This is a symptom of kidney disease which is a
definite cause for concern. There may be other reasons, but it is
advisable to visit your doctor in case you notice it.
Kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from the body. When they are
unable to do so, this extra fluid will build up causing swelling in your
hands, feet, ankles and/or your face.
5. Extreme fatigue and
generalised weakness: Your kidneys produce a hormone called
erythropoietin which helps make red blood cells that carry oxygen. In
kidney diseases, lower levels of erythropoietin causes decreased red
blood cells in your body resulting in anemia. There is decreased oxygen
delivery to cells causing generalized weakness and extreme fatigue.
6. Dizziness and inability to concentrate: Anemia associated with kidney
disease also depletes your brain of oxygen which may cause dizziness,
trouble with concentration, etc.
7. Feeling cold all the time: If
you have kidney disease you may feel cold even when in a warm
surrounding due to anemia. Pyelonephritis (kidney infection) may cause
fever with chills.
8. Skin rashes and itching: Kidney failure causes waste build-up in your blood. This can causes severe itching and skin rashes.
9. Ammonia breath and metallic taste: Kidney failure increases level of
urea in the blood (uraemia). This urea is broken down to ammonia in the
saliva causing urine-like bad breath called ammonia breath. It is also
usually associated with an unpleasant metallic taste (dysgeusia) in the
10. Nausea and vomiting: The build-up of waste products in your blood in kidney disease can also cause nausea and vomiting.
11. Shortness of breath : Kidney disease causes fluid to build up in
the lungs. And also, anaemia, a common side-effect of kidney disease,
starves your body of oxygen. You may have trouble catching your breath
due to these factors.
12. Pain in the back or sides: Some cases of
kidney disease may cause pain. You may feel a severe cramping pain that
spreads from the lower back into the groin if there is a kidney stone in
the ureter. Pain may also be related to polycystic kidney disease, an
inherited kidney disorder, which causes many fluid-filled cysts in the
kidneys. Interstitial cystitis, a chronic inflammation of the bladder
wall, causes chronic pain and discomfort.