Unfortunately, many people suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) don't even know they have it. That's because the early signs are very subtle, and they can go on without people noticing. In some cases, it takes many years before a chronic kidney disease progresses to kidney failure. It's good to know that not all who have CKD will suffer from kidney failure. Knowing the symptoms of this disease will enable you to get treatment as early as possible. Just remind yourself that these symptoms can be caused by other health problems so you need to see the doctor immediately to get a proper diagnosis.
Changes in Urination
Since kidneys make the urine, when there is a problem with them, you will notice certain changes in your urination. For one, you will notice that you need to get up at night to urinate or you urinate more often or in greater amounts than usual. It's also possible that you urinate less often and in smaller amounts than usual. The urine can become bubbly or foamy, or may contain blood. You may also feel pressure when urinating or find it hard to do so. When you go to the restroom, you feel like you can't get all of the urine out.
Kidneys with problems are not able to remove the extra fluids in the body. These would build up and cause your body to swell particularly in parts like legs, feet, face, ankles and hands. Some patients experience a lot of swelling in the ankles to the point where they can't get into their shoes on anymore. Even those who lose weight will experience swelling in these parts of the body. You'll notice that some people with kidney problems are skinny but some parts of their bodies are swollen.
Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin. This hormone signals the body to manufacture red blood cells that carry oxygen. If there is a problem with the kidneys, they would produce less of this hormone. That would result in fewer red blood cells that carry oxygen. When this happens, the muscles and brain become exhausted more quickly. The condition is known as anemia.
Skin Rash or Itching
Kidneys are responsible for removing waste from the bloodstream. Problems with the kidneys would result in buildup of wastes in the blood. This can cause severe itching and rashes on the skin.
Metallic taste in the mouth
When there is a buildup of wastes in the blood, food tastes differently. It makes you lose appetite. This is the reason why weight loss is common among people with unhealthy kidneys. They tend to eat less often and experience drastic drop in weight. Buildup of waste in the bloodstream also causes bad breath.
Nausea and Vomiting
When you lose appetite and you're not able to eat normally, this can lead to vomiting and nausea. You'll find yourself throwing up all the time and unable to hold anything down in your stomach.
Shortness of Breath
Many also experience shortness of breath. This can be accounted to the extra fluid in the body that builds up in the lungs. Another cause is due to anemia that starves your body of oxygen that makes it difficult for you to catch your breath.