Early Warning Signs of Kidney Disease

Around 850 million people worldwide are estimated to have kidney disease and most don’t know it. Symptoms come late in chronic kidney disease as in the initial stages the body is able to cope well with a significantly reduced function. Only about 10% of people are aware that they have chronic kidney disease. If found early, medicines and dietary modifications can help control the rate of advancement of the disease. 

What symptoms can you have if you have kidney disease? 

  1. Generalised weakness and easy fatigability: The accumulation of toxins in your body and anaemia both can make you feel very low in energy and tired. You may also find it difficult to concentrate in day to day tasks. 
  2. Reduced appetite: The build-up of toxins can lead to reduced appetite. One may also have nausea and frequent vomiting. Accumulation of urea can also lead to developing a metallic taste in your mouth.
  3. Change in the colour, composition or amount of urine: Any change in the amount or colour of urine can be a sign of kidney disease. Passing too much or too little urine, both are significant. Red-coloured urine may indicate bleeding in the urinary tract or kidneys. Passing frothy or foamy urine may indicate a loss of protein in your urine. Also, any burning or increased frequency of urination could be a sign of infection of the urinary tract. Another sign of kidney disease is passing more urine at night as compared to earlier. 
  4. Puffiness around eyes or swelling in hands and feet: This may be a sign of protein loss in the urine or reduced functioning of your kidneys leading to water retention. Swelling of hands and feet can also happen in heart and liver diseases or venous problems of lower limbs. 
  5. Dry, itchy skin: Kidneys are responsible for keeping a balance between a lot of minerals in the body and malfunctioning of the renal system can lead to bone and mineral disorder leading to dry and itchy skin. It can also be a sign of accumulation of urea in the body. 

Some other signs pointing towards a renal disease include breathlessness, reduced sleep, confusion, muscle cramps and erectile dysfunction in males. 

It is important to get a regular health check-up done and be aware of the signs and symptoms of renal impairment. Timely intervention can help you lead a better and healthier life.