Seven Kidney Disease Symptoms You Need to Be Aware Of
You probably don’t think much about your kidneys, but these small organs are essential in maintaining a healthy lifestyle as they continuously filter and clean all of the toxins, waste, and unnecessary fluid from your blood. When chronic kidney disease, also called renal failure or kidney failure, takes hold you could experience a surprising range of unwanted changes to your physical health.
Any time you have concerns about your health, be sure to consult with a trusted medical professional. Only a doctor can accurately assess, diagnose, and treat your kidney disease and kidney disease symptoms.
Kidney disease symptoms may include:
No Symptoms at All
You might be surprised to read this, but one of the most typical experiences of people with kidney disease is to have no symptoms at all. This trend is especially common during the early stages of the condition.
Because the progression of kidney disease is often slow and progressive, noticing the changes to your general health and well-being is challenging. You may feel like you are functioning at your normal level while, without your knowledge, your kidneys are underperforming.
Feeling Vaguely Ill
People who do start to notice signs and symptoms of kidney disease may endorse symptoms that do not point to the kidneys directly. Instead, these people may experience a general feeling of being unwell with signs like:
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Feeling a lack of energy
- Frequent or more intense headaches
- Itchy and dry skin
- Being nauseous regularly
Since these are commonly experienced symptoms, you might believe other conditions ranging from a cold to cancer are responsible for you feeling under the weather. Not many people will jump to the conclusion of kidney disease, but it is always a possibility.
Sexual and Reproductive Side Effects
Kidney disease can impact all facets of your life and functioning, including your sexual and reproductive health. People with kidney disease frequently complain of problems with their sexual function.
The condition may create issues getting erections, maintaining erections, and ejaculating. You may experience a loss of sexual interest connected to overall poor health.
Women may experience changing menstruation. Some will have very irregular periods while others will stop menstruating completely.
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Breath and Thirst Changes
Whereas other conditions, like diabetes, change your breath to be sweet or even fruity, kidney disease has the opposite impact. Kidney disease often results in breath that smells and taste bad no matter how often you brush your teeth, floss, or use mouthwash.
You may think you are drinking extra water or other drinks to conceal your bad breath, but that action could be a symptom of kidney disease as well. People with renal failure usually experience higher levels of thirst that cannot be quenched no matter how much they drink.
Apart from the smell of your breath, you might find yourself having shortness of breath more regularly, even when complete activities that are not physically challenging.
Kidney disease can affect your physical health, but it can have a significantly negative impact on her mental health as well. Some people report mental fogginess that prevents them from functioning normally.
People report having problems thinking clearly and concentrating with kidney disease. This feeling can make simple, everyday activities like going to work or paying attention to a conversation seem much more trying.
Feeling especially drowsy can accompany the foggy feeling, resulting in oversleeping at night or frequent naps during the day.
Odd Aches and Pains
Kidney disease hurts. The condition results in some pains and discomforts, which can hinder your life and happiness.
First, kidney disease results in bone pain. Bone pain is a deeper pain that can be steady and dull or short-term and excruciating. Since your bones span your entire body, the pain may be located anywhere from head to toe.
Second, kidney disease can trigger cramps and muscle spasms. Located in larger muscle groups in your arms, legs, stomach, and back, these cramps and twitches can be quite painful or a mild annoyance.
Again, it is this symptom uncertainty that makes identifying kidney disease so complicated.
Kidney disease works to change your internal systems, but it can impact your outside appearance as well. People note changes to their skin being caused by kidney disease. These changes are challenging to notice in yourself, so be sure to ask your spouse or trusted supports for their opinions regarding your appearance.
You may notice your skin is changing shades. Perhaps it is much darker or much lighter than you’d expect given the season and your recent exposure to the sun.
You might also notice a higher sensitivity or reactivity of your skin. Small bumps or injuries that previously would have been mild now result in larger than ordinary bruises that are slow to heal.