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Top 6 Signs of Kidney Problems and Symptoms

Updated on January 24, 2016

Kidney problems don’t usually show their manifestations until they are severe enough to affect your body’s normal physiology. However, although they are silent most of the time, these medical conditions can still show a handful of warning signs that can cue you to see your doctor right away.

You Notice Changes in Your Urine

The first abnormality you’d see among patients with renal problems is the change in their urination patterns and their urine’s characteristics. There is a notable increase in both frequency and urgency. Some patients may even have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. There are patients who experience incomplete emptying of their bladders despite the strong urge to pee. In most cases, pain also accompanies urination which, in turn, triggers fear.

The color, smell and even the consistency of your urine can change when you have renal issues. It may appear cloudy or foamy. Its color may vary from pale, dark-colored, or even blood stained. Pungent or ammonia-like odor is also relatively common.

You Feel Tired Most of the Time

Your kidneys are also responsible for the synthesis of your erythropoeitin. When this hormone isn’t sufficiently produced by your body, it decreases the production of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells in your body. With less oxygen and red blood cells circulating, your body tends to get exhausted fairly quickly. Aside from this, toxin and waste product build-up can also make you feel tired more.

You Have Trouble Breathing

When your kidneys fail, they become less efficient in removing the excess water in your body. This accumulation of fluid tends to infiltrate your lungs which, as a result, makes breathing hard for you. Other than fluid, the decreased production of erythropoeitin and red blood cells also leads to difficulty breathing.

You have Poor Appetite

When waste products build up in the body, a condition called uremia develops. It alters taste and often causes a person to feel nauseated. Because of these inconveniences, people with renal issues find it difficult to eat. This also explains why weight loss is also very common among them

There is Swelling

Other than your lungs, the excess fluid can also accumulate on the other parts of your body, too. It can affect your legs, feet, and your hands. There are cases where the face gets affected as well. When the swelling progresses, it turns into a condition called “anasarca” or extreme generalized swelling

You Feel itchy all Over

Another manifestation of excess toxin build up in your system is itching. This itching, however, is a bit different from the usual itching sensation. Most patients complain that they itch beneath their skin. This results in constant scratching and frequent skin injuries.


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