It is estimated that more than 30 million adults in the country are living with kidney disease and most are not aware of it. There are a number of visible signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people associate them with other health problems. Most of them are unable to identify kidney failure symptoms until a very late stage, that is, when the kidneys are failing or when there is a large amount of protein in the urine.
Causes of kidney failure
Chronic kidney disease befalls when a disease or condition impairs the kidney function, which leads to kidney damage over several months or years. The main causes of kidney illness are diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, smoking, obesity, abnormal kidney structure, and older age. Sometimes, if one has a family history of kidney disease, it can also trigger the chances of having kidney failure.
Kidney failure symptoms are usually subtle and most people don’t pay attention to them. If one notices most of the following, it can be a sign of kidney failure.
Being more tired, with lost energy and having trouble concentrating
A critical decrease in kidney function can lead to the accumulation of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can make people feel tired, weak and can make it hard to focus. Anemia is also one of the kidney failure symptoms, which can make an individual weak and exhausted.
Having trouble sleeping
The toxins stay in the blood rather than flushing out from the body through the urine when the kidneys aren’t filtering properly. Physical problems can contribute to abrupt sleep patterns. Compared to the general population, the sleep disorder is very common in those with chronic kidney disease.
Having dry and itchy skin
Healthy kidneys perform numerous important functions of the body. They dismiss waste and extra fluids from the body, help the body to produce red platelets, keep bones strong and also work to keep up the appropriate quantity of minerals in the blood. Dry and itchy skin is caused because of the lack of minerals. This can be an indication of the mineral and bone disease that is one of the main kidney failure symptoms. This occurs when the kidneys are not capable of keeping the correct balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood.
Feeling the urgency to frequently urinate
One of the major kidney failure symptoms is the urgency to urinate all the more regularly, particularly at night. The increase in the need to urinate is caused by the damage caused to the kidney’s filtering units called nephrons. This is a symptom of a urinary disease, or in men, it may be because of prostate enlargement.
Noticing blood in the urine
Healthy kidneys generally keep the blood cells in the body while filtering wastes from the blood to make urine; however, with nephron damage, these blood cells leak out into the urine. In addition to the kidney illness, blood in the urine can be a symptom of tumors, kidney stones or contamination.
Producing foamy urine
Too much protein is flushed out in the urine because of kidney dysfunction leading to foamy urine. This condition is called proteinuria. This usually happens in the later stages of kidney failure.
Experiencing persistent puffiness around the eyes
When there is nephrotic damage, kidneys leak a large amount of protein in the urine, rather than retaining it in the body. This gives rise to fluid retention in the body leading to puffiness on the face and around one’s eyes, which is one of the common kidney failure symptoms.
Swelling in ankles and feet
One of the kidney failure symptoms, swollen feet is caused due to the retention of sodium. Swelling in the lower extremities can also be a signal of heart disorder, liver ailment, and persistent leg vein problems.
Having a poor appetite
This symptom is very common with almost all the diseases. However, a buildup of toxins due to the decreased kidney function can be one of the reasons for having a poor appetite. Worsening of appetite occurs with disease progression.
Experiencing muscle cramping
The impaired kidney function may result in electrolyte imbalance. For instance, low calcium levels and poorly maintained phosphorus may result in muscle cramping.
Even though the body shows many kidney failure symptoms, the only way to know if one has a kidney disease is to get tested. It is important to get tested annually for kidney disease if one is at a risk due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or if one is older than 60 years. Moreover, if one notices the kidney failure symptoms, it should be clearly communicated to one’s healthcare practitioner.