There may not be much in the news about kidney disease compared to other health problems like heart disease, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s, but the kidneys rank right up there with most of the body’s other vital organs. There are an estimated 26 million people with kidney disease in the United States, and most of them probably do not even know it.
Some symptoms of kidney disease are easy to dismiss, since they are often associated with other health conditions. Symptoms of kidney disease often do not show up until the disease has advanced to the later stages, making it difficult to detect early. Still, doctors recommend that people be on the watch for the following symptoms which may indicate the presence of kidney disease.
1. Low Energy: Kidneys that are not functioning properly can cause to am accumulation of excess toxins in the bloodstream, which can cause people to feel tired and fatigued. An an inability to concentrate may also be a factor. Since anemia can also be triggered by kidney disease, this can compound feelings of exhaustion and fatigue.
2. Insomnia: Sleep, like so many other functions of the body, is dependent on other systems functioning properly. The build-up of toxins in the bloodstream when the kidneys are not working properly can cause insomnia. Since there is also a connection between kidney disease and obesity, and obesity is often linked with sleep problems, it is a common symptom that affects many of those suffering from kidney disease.
3. Skin Disorders: Ailing kidneys will cause many of the body’s other systems to break down, including the processes that helps keep skin healthy. Dry itchy skin is another sign that the kidneys are not performing as they should be. Bone disease often goes hand-in-hand with kidney disease, and some bone diseases can also cause the skin to flake, dry out, and feel itchy.
4. Frequent Urination: When the kidneys are damaged due to kidney disease, it can prompt the need to urinate more frequently. This is true especially if an increased need to urinate tends to wake you from sleep a lot during the night. There are also other conditions that might cause one to visit the bathroom more than normal, including diabetes, urinary tract infection or prostate problems for men.
5. Bloody Urine: This symptom is probably likely to cause more alarm than many of the others listed here, since it can bring to mind many other serious health conditions like cancer. It’s also quite possible that blood in the urine could be due to a urinary tract infection, kidney stones, or even tumors, so seeing blood in the urine is definitely one of those symptoms that should not be ignored.
6. Foamy Urine: A certain amount of foam that accompanies urine is normal, and it should be easy for anyone to tell when their urine foams up more than is typically does. Excessive foam in the urine is often caused by a substance called albumin which is also found it eggs. Excessive amounts of albumin in the urine could mean that the kidneys are not performing as they should be.
7. Puffy Eyes: Excessive protein in the bloodstream can cause swelling around the eyes. This symptom is one of the few symptoms on this list that can be an indicator of the early stages of kidney disease.
8. Swollen Feet: This is a classic symptom of kidney disease which is triggered when failing kidneys fail to remove excessive quantities of sodium that are accumulating in the body. Although this type if swelling can also occur as the result of heart disease or liver disease, the presence of other symptoms could be a way to narrow down the cause of the problem.
9. Declined Appetite: The accumulation of various toxins in the body can cause someone to feel generally unwell, and it is not at all unusual for those feelings to also cause a lack of appetite.
10. Muscle Cramping: The body’s muscles require sufficient quantities of certain minerals in the body to keep functioning smoothly. Failing kidneys can throw off the balance of these vital minerals and nutrients, which can easily trigger painful muscle cramps.
Source: Thinking About Health