World Kidney Day: Know The Physical Signs Of Kidney Disease

Dr. Samir Tawakley, MBBS, DNB (Medicine), DNB (Nephrology), Senior Consultant, Nephrology at Apollo Hospitals, Noida

There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people attribute them to other conditions. Also, those with kidney disease tend to experience symptoms in very late stages, when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. The only way to know for sure if you have kidney disease is to get tested.

If you’re at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or if you’re older than age 60, it’s important to get tested annually for kidney disease.

You feel more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. This is due to low haemoglobin which can cause weakness and fatigue.

You experience persistent puffiness around your eyes and ankles and feet are swollen. This happens due to water retention as your failing kidneys are unable to excrete urine.

Protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidneys’ filters have been damaged, allowing the protein to leak into the urine. This leads to the passing of foamy urine.
In addition to signaling kidney disease, blood in the urine can be indicative of tumors, kidney stones, or an infection.

You have a poor appetite. This is a very general symptom, but a buildup of toxins resulting from reduced kidney function leads to anorexia.

If you feel the need to urinate more often, especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease. Sometimes this can also be a sign of a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men.

If these early warning signs are missed and a person develops severe kidney disease, he or she can develop fluid accumulation in lungs leading to breathing difficulties, weak bones with increased fracture risks, decreased sex drive and reduced fertility, increased risks of infection and heart attacks (CAD) and neurological problems.

Hence it is important to pick up early warning signs about your failing kidneys as it can prevent many serious consequences in the future.

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