Warning Signs of Kidney Disease
The early symptoms of kidney disease can unfortunately go unnoticed for years due to their subtlety. As kidneys process and remove toxins from the body, any delays in medical treatment can be fatal. Catching the signs early can prevent permanent damage.
According to the American Kidney Fund, one in three adults in the United States are at risk for chronic kidney disease, with many who have it not even knowing. It can take months, even years for the disease to progress to kidney failure, which is still irreversible.
Type 1 and 2 diabetes are the leading causes of kidney disease, causing approximately two-thirds of cases of chronic kidney disease. As the early stages of kidney disease typically have no signs or symptoms, it is important to see your medical provider regularly so they can test for irregularities. That being said, here are some signs that something may be amiss with your kidneys.
- Changes in urination: Kidneys filter fluids and waste, which is excreted as urine. Changes in kidney function often produce changes in urination. If you notice yourself suddenly urinating more or less frequently than normal, changes in the color and composition of your urine, or difficulty, it could be a sign.
- Swelling: The kidneys remove extra fluids, so failing function could lead to swollen extremities, frequently the legs, ankles, feet, face or hands.
- Rashes: Waste building up in the bloodstream causes a condition called uremia, which can result in severely itchy skin and rashes
- Metallic taste: Uremia can also change the taste of food and cause bad breath. You may notice a peculiar metallic taste in your mouth, or suddenly develop an aversion to some foods.