More than millions of people are living with kidney disease, and most don’t know it. There are several physical signs and symptoms of renal disease, but these attributes to other health maladies too. Also, those with kidney problems tend not to exhibit symptoms until later stages, when the kidneys are almost failing or when there are excess amounts of protein in the urine. As per the reports National Kidney Foundation, only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know that they have it.
In fact, chronic kidney disease is known as a “silent” health condition, as it’s hard to detect and most people with early-stage CKD are unaware of it. People mostly get their blood pressure, sugar, and cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis, but fail to get a kidney function test, to identify any kidney problems. According to the Global Burden Disease study 2015, chronic kidney disease is ranked as the eighth-leading cause of mortality in India.

There are several warning signs of a renal problem, however, most of the time these are confused or ignored with other pathologies due to their non-specific trait. Therefore, one has to be very vigilant and should get regular kidney profile tests at the earliest, if they have any signs of a kidney problem. Furthermore, if you’re at risk for renal disease due to hypertension, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure, or age above 60 years, then it’s essential to get tested annually.

Also Read: Acute Kidney Failure Can Occur Without Symptoms

Here are 11 early warning signs of kidney disease that you should be aware of:

Warning Signs Of Kidney Disease

Changes In Urination: Healthy kidneys support to filter the blood to make urine. But when the kidneys fail to function, urination problems may develop like an urge to urinate more often or blood in the urine. Also, urine may be foamy or bubbly, which could be an early warning sign that protein is leaking into the urine due to damaged kidneys.

Fatigue: Reduced kidney function can lead to an accumulation of toxins and impurities in the blood, which can make a person feel tired, and exhausted, and also make it difficult to concentrate. Anemia is another complication associated with kidney disease, which can also result in weakness and fatigue.

Itching: Dry and itchy skin is a sign that you may have an imbalance of minerals and nutrients in the blood due to kidney problem. Moreover, itching is mostly caused by high blood levels of phosphorus.

Edema: When the kidneys are not eliminating excess fluid and sodium from the system, swelling (edema) may develop in the feet and lower extremities.

Shortness Of Breath: Extra fluid can accumulate in the lungs when the kidneys are not clearing fluid, which may result in shortness of breath. Also, chronic kidney disease-induced anemia may result in a low amount of oxygen-carrying red blood cells, which may also cause breathlessness.

Also Read: Kidney Function Tests: Know The Types, How It Is Done And What To Expect

Back Ache: You may feel a localized pain near the kidneys that don’t change or become worse when you move. The kidneys are situated on either side of the spine in the lower back, and kidney disorders can result in pain in that area. Moreover, back aches may also be due to an infection or blockage in the kidneys, which can eventually lead to kidney damage.

Poor Appetite: Accumulation of toxins and waste due to impaired kidney function may result in poor appetite. Were you may feel full or very sick or tried to eat.

Puffy Eyes: Protein leaking into the urine due to kidney damage may result in constant puffiness around the eyes, which may be an early sign of kidney disease.

Muscle Cramping: Impaired kidney function can result in electrolyte imbalances like low calcium levels or high phosphorus, which may lead to muscle cramping.

Foul Breath: When the kidneys cannot filter waste out it can result in a condition called uraemia, which can make your breath smell bad. Apart from this, toxins in the bloodstream can deliver food with a metallic or off taste.

Poor Sleep: Several pieces of evidence have disclosed a strong connection between sleep apnea and chronic kidney disease (CKD), which in the long run may damage the organs and lead to kidney failure. Also, sleep apnea may damage kidneys by averting the body from getting adequate oxygen. Sleep disorders may damage the nerves that control kidney function.