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12 Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Updated on August 12, 2018
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I like to share information that makes life more joyful and meaningful. My main interests are health and general wellness in body and mind.


Our Precious Kidneys

There are 12 symptoms of kidney disease which you may want to take note.

Before we get into these 12 symptoms, please let me share with you a little bit of information about our kidneys. All our body organs are important in their own right. Each has its special function to ensure that our body functions properly. The kidneys are most vulnerable to diseases because they perform so many functions. Top on the list is, the kidneys filter blood and remove wastes in the form of urine. Just imagine if the sewage drain in our home is blocked.

Our kidneys not only act as filters and waste removers, they are also responsible for the reabsorption of water, glucose and amino acids. Our kidneys also produce hormones such as calcitriol, erythropoietin and the enzyme rennin.

Inside each kidney, there are about a million tiny structures called nephrons which function as filters; filtering blood and removing waste products and extra water in the form of urine. The urine is discharged through tubes called the ureters to the bladder where it is stored until urination takes place.

Most kidney problems result from the nephrons being attacked. People suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension) and those having a close family member with kidney problem will have greater risk of developing kidney disease.

12 Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

Kidney failure, like heart attack, can be silent killers. In fact, a lot of critical and serious diseases are silent killers. It is often too late for cure when the diseases are diagnosed. The golden rule is most important, “prevention is better than cure”. Below is the list of 12 symptoms of likely kidney diseases. If ever you experience one or more of these 12 symptoms, please consult your doctor immediately. Please don’t take your health lightly especially if you are over 50 years old and if you are not in the pink of health.

1. Changes in your urinary routine and the volume of urine.

Any change in the frequency of urination, or any change in the volume of your urine may warrant some concern, especially if your urine is darker in color. This usually happens during nighttime. Another worrying sign is the inability to urinate when you have the urge to do so.

2. Difficulty or pain when urinating.

Urinary tract infection may cause difficulty or pain when you urinate. If the infection spreads to the kidneys you may develop fever and pain in your back area.

3. Blood in your urine.

Whenever you notice blood in any of the unlikely places, there is sure cause for concern. This happened to me once, and I was shocked to pieces. Luckily, there was nothing wrong with my urinary tract or my kidneys. Till today, I did not know the cause of having sudden drips of blood in my urine. Sign of blood in urine is a worrying possibility that the kidneys or the urinary tract have problems. This is the one symptom that you must consult your doctor immediately.

4.Swelling in parts of your body.

If you notice unusual swelling in parts of your body, please take note. Kidneys are primary organs for filtering and removing liquid wastes and excess fluid from your body. If the kidneys are not able to discharge the excess fluid, then the fluid will build up in your body causing swelling in your hands, feet, ankles and face.

5. Lethargy and extreme fatigue.

The kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which assists the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen. Any kidney disease will reduce the production of erythropoietin causing the reduction of red blood cells. Reduced red blood cells means less oxygen for the cells and this will result in anemia, a condition that makes a person feel weak and breathless.

6. Dizziness and lack of concentration.

Anemia will also affect oxygen supply to the brain causing dizziness and difficulty in concentration.

7. Feeling cold all the time, even in warm weather.

Another effect of anemia is feeling cold despite in warm surrounding. It may even accompany with fever.

8. Skin rashes and itchiness.

When the kidneys are not functioning properly, liquid wastes are not eliminated completely and this will cause liquid wastes build-up in the blood, resulting in severe itching and skin rashes.

9. Ammonia breath and metallic taste.

If you have “ammonia” breath and “metallic” taste problems, this symptom is specially associated with kidney problems. Kidney problems raise the level of urea in the blood. This excess urea is broken down into ammonia in the saliva resulting in “ammonia” breath smelling like urine. This is also associated with having “metallic” taste in the mouth.

10. Nausea and vomiting.

Nausea and vomiting may result with prolonged liquid wastes build-up in the blood stream due to kidney problems.

11. Shortness of breath.

As described earlier, anemia reduces the level of oxygen in the body. Kidney problem also causes fluid build-up in the lungs. You will experience shortness of breath because of all these.

12. Pain around the sides and back.

Presence of kidney stones in the ureter may cause severe cramping pain around the lower back and the groin. Fluid-filled cysts may be present in the kidneys causing pain around the kidney area.

Please Be Cautious

Kidney problems, like the dreaded cancer, are often detected too late where the damage is being done. It is most important that if you experience any of the above 12 symptoms, you must consult your doctor immediately. Early detection may safe one’s life.

Remember, there are three golden keys to good health:

Golden Key #1 : Healthy diet

Golden Key #2 : Regular exercise

Golden Key #3 : A relaxed positive frame of mind, free of negative feelings

May I wish all my readers good health and happiness.

Related links:

MedlinePlus : Kidney diseases

Health India : 12 symptoms of kidney disease

How To Protect Your Kidneys


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    • Cheryl E Preston profile image

      Cheryl E Preston 

      2 months ago from Roanoke

      This is great information regarding kidney disease.

    • Good Guy profile imageAUTHOR

      Justin Choo 

      6 years ago from Malaysia

      CraftytotheCore, Made, Jackie Lynnley ,

      Thanks for reading and comment. I like to share info which I deem useful and helpful.

      Keep healthy and be happy.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 

      6 years ago from the beautiful south

      Lot of good symptom warnings you have here to watch for. I use celery seed to help my kidneys because I take Tylenol every day. I read it will help so am trusting it to. So many things to be careful of, thanks for helping us know what to look for. ^

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 

      6 years ago from Finland

      Interesting. A person close to me has had swelling in several parts of the body, difficulty with breathing and water on the lungs several times. The doctors haven't found anything wrong. I guessed something was wrong with the kidneys, but according to the doctors, the kidneys seem to functioning well...

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      6 years ago

      This is very interesting information. I had a lot of these symptoms when I was suffering from thyroid problems before my surgery.


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