How Do You Know If You Have Kidney Problems

Kidneys are the most important organs of the human body. They play a vital role in the daily functions of the body. So, it is really important to take care of the kidneys. Most of us don’t even think about kidneys unless we are diagnosed with any of the problems that affect them. The symptoms of kidney problems are so subtle that we can’t notice them until serious harm has been done. There are several physical signs which indicate kidney disease but are often ignored and misguided as other conditions.

It is unfortunate that kidney disease is a silent killer and usually gets recognized at an extremely late stage. The symptoms of kidney disease are not silent but ignored in their early stage. Therefore, it is essential to identify the symptoms of kidney diseases early so that they can be treated properly.


Changes in Urinary Function

The first symptom of kidney disease is a change in the amount and frequency of urination. The changes include:

  • Increase or decrease in the amount of urine
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Feeling the urge to urinate
  • Increase or decrease in the frequency, especially at night

Pain While Urinating

People with kidney disease may have difficulty; they feel pressure or pain while urinating. Pain or burning sensation during urination may indicate urinary tract infection. If the infection spreads to the kidneys, it might cause fever and pain in the back.

Blood in Urine

People who get blood in the urine should never ignore it as it is a definite cause for concern. This symptom indicates serious harm to the kidney.

Foamy Urine

An excessive bubble in the urine, which requires flushing several times, is addressed as foamy urine. This indicates protein in urine and it is one of the main symptoms of kidney disease.

Swelling in Hands or Feet

Kidneys are responsible for the removal of waste and extra fluid from the body. When the kidney functioning is decreased, the extra fluids build up in the body causing swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, face.

Extreme Fatigue, Anemia

Kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin which helps red blood cells to carry oxygen. When the kidneys don’t function properly, the hormone levels drop drastically which results in anemia and leads to symptoms like weakness and extreme fatigue.


Anemia due to kidney disease also reduces the amount of oxygen carried to the brain which may cause dizziness. This, in turn, leads to trouble with concentration.

Dry & Itchy Skin

Decreased kidney functioning can cause waste build-up in the blood which causes severe itching and skin rashes.

Ammonia Breathe and Metallic Taste

This symptom is an indication of kidney disease. Renal failure increases the level of urea in the blood. This urea is broken down to ammonia in the saliva which causes urine-like bad breath known as ammonia breath. It is also associated with an unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth.

Shortness of Breath

If the kidney disease is severe enough, fluids can build up in the lungs and lead to a feeling of breathlessness. Along with this, anemia is caused due to kidney disease, which makes the body starve for oxygen, and leads to breathlessness.

Pain in the Back or Sides

This symptom is a common indicator of kidney disease but it is not seen in everyone who suffers from renal failure. A severe cramping pain that spreads from the lower back into the groin can be experienced by patients with kidney disease.

Feeling Cold

Kidney disease cause anemia, this also causes to feel cold all the time even in the warm surrounding.

Poor Appetite

When kidneys are unable to remove the wastes from the body, the build-up of toxins and waste materials can lead to a lack of appetite.

A Rise in Blood Pressure

When the kidneys are damaged, they can no longer control the blood pressure effectively. Therefore, the force of blood against the vessels stretches them and causes further damage, and weakens the blood vessels in the kidneys.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the first signs of kidney disease?

When you have kidney disease, your organs don't make enough of the hormone erythropoietin. Hormones tell your body to make red blood cells. You can develop anemia and get short of breath if you don't take it.

2. Is drinking a lot of water good for the kidneys?

Drinking water regularly throughout the day helps the kidneys work properly and stay healthy. Water is the best liquid option to drink during the day.

3. What does it feel like when your kidneys aren't working properly?

Kidney discomfort is often a deep, dull aching in the right or left flank, or both sides, that gets worse when softly tapped. Usually, only one kidney is affected in most conditions, so you usually feel pain on only one side of your back.