6 Early Signs of Kidney Problems to Watch For

Being aware of the early signs of kidney problems can help you detect kidney disease. Learn about six common signs to watch for here.

Did you know that an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. have chronic kidney disease (CKD)? What’s more, up to 90% of them aren’t aware they have CKD. Even 40% don’t know they have severe CKD!

One reason is that many people don’t experience any early signs of kidney problems. That is especially true during the initial stage of CKD.

However, some people may still exhibit kidney disease symptoms. We’ve outlined the ones you need to be on the lookout for below, so read on.

1. Fatigue

Kidney problems result in impurities and toxins building up in your body. That can make you feel tired since the “contaminants” displace nutrients in your blood. As a result, your body gets insufficient nourishment, leading to fatigue.

2. Anemia

Damaged kidneys produce less erythropoietin (EPO). It’s a hormone responsible for telling the bone marrow to create red blood cells (RBC). Thus, the less EPO you have, the fewer RBCs your blood contains.

Anemia, in turn, is a condition that results from a lack of RBCs. The thing is, the job of RBCs is to deliver nutrients and oxygen to all parts of the body. Therefore, without enough RBCs, you might always feel weak and tired.

3. Increased Urge to Urinate

Another of the most common symptoms of kidney disease is the feeling of having to urinate more often. That’s especially true if this urge occurs at night. However, note that this can also signify a urinary infection or an enlarged prostate in men.

To be sure, schedule a consultation with a board certified nephrologist. A nephrologist is a kidney doctor specializing in kidney diseases. Such a specialist can confirm if you have a severe kidney problem or if it’s only an infection.

4. Swelling in the Ankles and Feet

A decrease in kidney function can result in sodium retention.

Note that salt absorbs and holds on to fluids. Thus, it can cause swelling, also called edema, when it piles up. This inflammation often occurs in the ankles and feet as they’re the lowest parts of the body.

5. Decreased Appetite

Appetite-suppressing compounds build up during the early to middle stages of kidney disease. The more suppressants that stay in the system, the less hunger you may feel. You might experience that even if you had almost nothing to eat throughout the day.

6. Bloody Urine

The kidneys filter wastes from the blood to create urine while keeping the blood cells in the body. However, damage can render the kidneys unable to retain blood cells. That can then result in the blood leaking out with urine.

However, bloody urine may also be due to kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). It’s a common condition with a lifetime prevalence of 12% in U.S. men and 7% in women.

Likewise, urinary tract infections may also make you pee blood.

Either way, a nephrologist can confirm the root of the problem and, from there, treat you ASAP.

Never Ignore Early Signs of Kidney Problems

Please remember that untreated CDK can lead to deadly kidney failure. That should prompt you to see a doctor as soon as you notice the early signs of kidney problems. The sooner you do, the higher your odds of having a successful treatment.

Are you looking for other informative health guides like this? Please browse more of our recent blog posts then!

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