What are the first signs of kidney disease?
Understanding the early signs of kidney disease is important for catching and treating it quickly. When it’s diagnosed in its earliest stages, kidney disease can often be managed more successfully with less effort, so being aware of potential symptoms is key. Here are 8 signs you should watch out for:
1. Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face, or hands
Swelling, or edema, in the legs, ankles, feet, face, or hands, especially in the mornings, is a common sign of kidney disease. It occurs when fluid accumulates in these areas due to impaired kidney functioning and decreased removal of salt and water from the body. Swollen body parts can also be an indication of other medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure or liver disease. So it’s important to speak with your doctor for a proper diagnosis if you are experiencing swelling in any of these parts of your body.
2. Weakness and fatigue
When waste products build up in the body due to worn-down kidneys struggling to filter them out, you may experience extreme fatigue or general weakness as a result of their presence.
3. Urination changes
Experiencing frequent urges to urinate or needing to use the restroom throughout the night might be a sign of kidney issues, especially if accompanied by foaminess or dark coloring in the urine itself.
4. Pain in the side/back
Kidney stones or inflammation caused by infection can cause consistent pain on either side (or both) of your back just below your rib cage as they press against nearby tissue and muscles while passing through the urinary tract. This sensation may also radiate into your groin area as well.
Keep Reading: How to Differentiate Kidney Pain from Back Pain
5. Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps can also be a sign of kidney disease. When not enough fluids are flowing through your body, then electrolyte levels drop, and muscle cells start to draw water from surrounding tissues. As a result, you may experience sudden, painful muscle cramps that usually happen in the legs and arms. If you experience these cramping episodes regularly, it could be an indication that something isn’t right with your kidney function.
6. Trouble sleeping
Trouble sleeping is often caused by an underlying health issue such as kidney disease. When your kidneys are not functioning properly, toxins can build up in your body, which can interfere with your sleep patterns. You may have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night due to restlessness or uneasiness.
7. Skin rash/discoloration
Damaged kidneys aren’t able to remove toxins from the bloodstream properly, leading to them showing up in the skin, where they often cause rashes, itching, and discoloration.
8. Nausea and vomiting
Nausea and vomiting are two common symptoms in people with kidney diseases. In most cases, nausea and vomiting are caused by an infection, inflammation, or blockage in the urinary system. It can also be caused by toxins in the bloodstream which come from not functioning kidneys.
The Bottom line
Kidney disease is a serious condition that can cause significant complications if left untreated. If you’re experiencing nausea or vomiting along with other troubling symptoms such as changes in your urine output, swelling in your feet or hands, skin rash, or extreme fatigue, you should make an appointment with a medical professional immediately. There are several tests that they can perform that will help determine whether or not there is underlying kidney damage present.
It is also important to take preventative measures when it comes to protecting your kidneys from further damage. This includes controlling any existing conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that may damage the organs over time, being cognizant about what medications you’re taking (especially if they have a nephrotoxic effect), consuming healthy foods, and exercising regularly.
Learn more: 10 Foods That Help Repair Kidneys