Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease

The symptoms of kidney disease tend to appear slowly over a long period of time, so they are easily overlooked or thought to be normal responses to stress.   In addition to the symptoms below you may find that you have high blood pressure.High blood pressure occurs when your  blood contains more water and salt than normal, this increases the pressure in your blood vessels. You may not know you have high blood pressure but keeping your blood pressure under control is an important part of staying healthy with kidney disease.

Knowing the symptoms of kidney disease can help you recognize the problems and get proper treatment. Keep in mind that the symptoms can be signs of problems other than kidney disease, so if you experience any of the symptoms, be sure to discuss them with your doctor.

Symptom: Swelling

When kidneys are failing, excess fluid builds up in the body and can lead to a condition known as edema, which is swelling in the hands, ankles, feet, or face (especially around the eyes, when you just wake up). Fluid can also collect in the lungs, which may cause shortness of breath.

Symptoms: Weakness, fatigue, feeling cold, shortness of breath

Kidney damage can slow down production of a hormone called erythropoeitin, which leads to a low red blood cell count. This causes anemia, a common and treatable complication of kidney disease that can make you feel tired very quickly.

Symptoms: Poor concentration and trouble sleeping

Anemia can prevent your brain from getting enough oxygen, which can lead to difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, and dizziness.

Symptom: Changes in urination

Your kidneys make urine, so kidney disease can cause urine to change. Urination problems include foamy or bloody urine, more or less urine than usual, a change in how often you urinate, or pressure or difficulty urinating.

Symptoms: Rash or itchy, dry skin

Kidneys remove waste from the bloodstream, so when kidneys fail, the buildup of waste in your bloodstream can cause skin rashes or severe itching.

Symptom: Metallic taste in your mouth, loss of appetite, nausea

Buildup of waste in the blood (called uremia) can make food taste different or cause bad breath, which can lead to a loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, and weight loss.

Symptom: Restless, cramped, or sore legs

Build up of waste products can cause nerve damage which may cause restless leg syndrome.

February 28, 2008