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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 by 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 done. There are a number of 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 its early stage. Therefore, it is essential to identify the symptoms of kidney diseases early so that they can be treated properly. Here are the top signs and symptoms of kidney disease that one should never ignore and be aware of

    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

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    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 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 caused due to kidney disease, which makes the body starve for the 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 the patients with kidney disease.

    Feeling cold

    Kidney disease cause anemia, this also causes to feel cold all the time even in a 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 cause further damage and weakens the blood vessels in the kidneys.


    Dr.J.AL. Ranganath

    • MD, DM
    • Consultant Nephrologist
    • Medical Registration No: 44696
    •   Mon – Sat: 10 AM – 4 PM*
    •   Hitech city, Madhapur
    Dialysis / Haemodialysis Kidney Biopsy Chronic Kidney Disease Other Services