The kidneys are responsible for a number of bodily functions including keeping the blood clean, maintaining the equilibrium of minerals and salt in the blood along with helping regulate blood pressure. When kidneys become damaged, waste products and fluids can start to accumulate in the body causing a number of symptoms.
However, signs of kidney disease are usually very generic, meaning they could easily be caused by other medical conditions. For this reason, many people who actually suffer from the condition may not even know they have the disease. Without proper treatment, diseased kidneys may eventually lead to kidney failure which can be a serious and potentially fatal condition.
Here are some common symptoms of kidney disease to watch out for.
1. Changes in urination
Kidneys produce urine, so in the case of failing kidneys, it becomes very likely that certain changes occur in urination. For instance, an individual may feel the need to wake up often at night to relieve their bladder or the urine produced may appear bubbly or foamy.
For some people, the urge may be to urinate more frequently or in higher amounts than usual or to urinate less frequently and in lesser amounts. Changes in urine color from very pale to dark colored urine may also be noticeable while some individuals may also feel pressure or experience difficulty urinating. In some instances, the urine passed may contain blood as well.
2. Persistent Fatigue
When kidneys function normally and are healthy, they make a hormone known as erythropoietin, also called EPO. This particular hormone is responsible for signalling the body to produce oxygen transporting red blood cells.
As kidney disease progresses, the kidneys makes less EPO and there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells to transport the oxygen. This results in the brain and muscles tiring quicker than normal and causing excessive fatigue. A scarcity of red blood cells is known as anemia, and is a condition that can be corrected with treatment.
Healthy kidneys are responsible for removing extra fluid from the body, but failing kidneys do not. Failure to do so can result in fluid buildup in the body causing swelling in the lower body in the legs, ankles and feet, and in the upper body in the face or hands.
The condition is also known as edema where extra fluid and sodium starts to circulate in the system and the effects of kidney disease related edema are typically visible in the legs and around the eyes.