Almost 37 million U.S. citizens live with kidney disease and mostly without knowing about it. There are numerous physical symptoms of kidney disease, but usually, patients associate them with other health problems. Moreover, kidney disease patients typically don’t experience any symptoms until the very late stages, when their kidneys aren’t able to work properly or when there are high amounts of protein in their urine. That’s why only 10% of those with kidney disease know that they experience it. Hence, it’s vital to pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
Keep on reading to discover the eight signs you may have kidney disease.
1. Fatigue and concentration difficulties
A rapid decrease in kidney function can cause the accumulation of toxins and wastes in your blood. This can result in chronic fatigue and may lead to trouble concentrating. Impaired function of your kidneys that may trigger the onset of anemia, a disease that can make you feel tired and weak.
2. Foamy urine
Frequently passing foamy urine with bubbles that require you to flash repeatedly until they go away may be a sign of protein in the urine. This foam may look just like the one that forms when you scramble eggs. This is because the common protein contained in urine is the same protein found in eggs. When kidneys allow too much protein to leak into your urine, it may indicate that you’re having the late stage of kidney disease. In such a case, you might want to consult a kidney doctor to start immediate treatment and prevent irreversible damage to your health.
3. Sleeping difficulties
When your kidneys fail to properly filter your blood, toxins may build up in your blood vessels rather than coming out of your body via urine. This may lead to trouble sleeping. One of the potent factors for the development of kidney disease is obesity, which is also linked to sleeping problems. And disorders like sleep apnea are more relevant in people with chronic kidney disease, compared with the overall population.
4. Dry and itchy skin
Healthy kidneys are essential for removing impurities and excess fluid from your body, stimulating red blood cell production. They also help to keep your bones strong and maintain enough minerals in your blood. Dry and itchy skin may indicate the onset of mineral and bone disorder. This condition typically occurs when your kidneys fail to keep the proper level of nutrients and minerals in your blood.
5. Frequent urination
If you’re having the urge to urine more often than normal, particularly at night, this may be a symptom of kidney disease. When the filters of your kidneys become damaged, it may cause you to urinate more often.
6. Blood in urine
Proper work of your kidneys allows keeping the blood cells in your body while filtering impurities from the blood to create urine. However, when the filters inside your kidneys are damaged, these blood cells may leave your body via urine.
7. Swollen feet and ankles
Impaired function of your kidneys can result in too much sodium in your body, which can cause fluid to accumulate in your lower extremities. This can lead to swelling in your ankles and feet.
8. Muscle cramps
Severely decreased kidney function can lead to electrolyte imbalances. And poorly controlled phosphorus levels and lack of calcium may trigger muscle cramping. Your muscles may also become damaged due to high levels of metabolic excrements in your blood, which result from the poor work of your kidneys.
The bottom line
If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, consider reaching out to the nearest nephrologist to check if your kidneys function normally. And if they aren’t, start appropriate treatment to avoid irreversible health consequences.