Kidneys are the organs that help filter waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
Most people with CKD (chronic kidney disease) have no symptoms because the body can tolerate even a large reduction in kidney function.
In other words, we are born with a lot more kidney function than is necessary for survival. Kidney function is often sufficient if only one kidney is working. That is why people can give a kidney to someone needing a kidney transplant.
At any stage of kidney disease, knowledge is power. Knowing the symptoms of kidney disease can help you get the treatment you need to feel your best. If you or someone you know has one or more of the following symptoms of CKD, or you worry about kidney problems, see a doctor for blood and urine tests.
1.Changes in urination
Kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. How?
- You may have to get up at night to urinate.
- Urine may be foamy or bubbly.
- You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine.
- You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark-colored urine.
- Your urine may contain blood.
- You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating.
2. Skin Rash/Itching and Swelling
Kidneys remove wastes from the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, the buildup of wastes in your blood can cause severe itching. Failing kidneys don’t remove extra fluid, which builds up in your body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face, and/or hands.
Healthy kidneys make a hormone called erythropoietin, or EPO, which tells your body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. As the kidneys fail, they make less EPO. With fewer red blood cells to carry oxygen, your muscles and brain tire very quickly. This is anemia, and it can be treated.
4. Back pain
Sometimes, kidney pain and back pain can be similar, but the pain caused by CKD is usually deeper and higher in the back located under the ribs. The pain can be felt only on the left/right side, or on both sides.
Remember, many of the symptoms can be caused by other health problems. The only way to know the cause of YOUR symptoms is to see your doctor!