Your kidneys are essential for filtering excess waste and liquids from your bloodstream that are then excreted from the body through urine. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) involves a gradual loss of kidney function that can lead to a dangerous build up of fluid, waste, and electrolytes. Many individuals do not receive a diagnosis until the disease is advanced, as the symptoms are minor and hard to notice—once you receive a diagnosis and as the symptoms progress, you can be treated with medications like Kerendia. To catch kidney disease early on, be aware of the following early warning signs:
1. Loss of appetite
Although a very general symptom, it can occur as a result of kidney failure. Due to the toxins being trapped in your body and not filtered out properly, it can kill your appetite. With kidney disease, even if you’re not hungry, it’s extremely important to eat so you can get all of the nutrients you need and keep your body energized to fight the disease.
2. Changes in urination
If you notice any abnormal changes in your urination, it may be a sign of kidney failure. When the kidney filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in urination frequency. Healthy kidneys keep blood cells within, but if they are damaged at all, they can leak out into the urine and result in blood in your urine. Lastly, foamy urine indicates protein in the urine, suggesting issues within the kidney. Keep an eye out for any changes in your urine and see a doctor if anything strange occurs.
3. Swelling and puffiness
Kidney disease may show up in swelling of the feet and ankles or even puffiness in the under eyes. As a result of decreased function of the kidneys, sodium retention occurs—the cause of swelling at the feet or ankles. Puffiness in the eyes is a result of leaking protein into the urine, as it’s meant to stay within the body.
4. Weakness and fatigue
The buildup of toxins in the blood can result in significant feelings of weakness and fatigue. This can also cause individuals with kidney failure to struggle with focus and concentration. If you find yourself feeling weak and tired more often than usual, and especially if it’s impacting your daily life, you should see your doctor.
5. Itchy skin
Healthy kidneys not only filter out waste, but they also help make red blood cells, maintain strong bones, and maintain the proper amount of minerals within the body. If you’re experiencing dry and itchy skin, it could be a result of mineral and bone disease—a disease that often accompanies more advanced kidney disease. Due to the loss of kidney function, your body will struggle to regulate and balance your vitamins and minerals.
Since kidneys also regulate electrolytes in the body, if you begin to lose kidney function your electrolytes will be imbalanced, thus resulting in cramping muscles.