Curejoy Expert Dr.Janardhana Hebbar Explains:
The kidney function is so integrated with other vital processes that symptoms may be ignored or perceived as coming from a different source. Most patients are diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) when they have reached the 3rd or 4th stage, as patients fail to notice the subtle symptoms or relate it with some other common ailments. Proactive self-diagnosis goes a long way in detecting the deterioration early and seeking prompt medical treatment. Considering the importance of the kidney in keeping us alive, every second is vital is preserving what we have, as kidney damage might not be reversible.
What is it that you need to be aware of? Pushing your doctor to run diagnostic tests on your renal function even for “silly” sounding symptoms might make you look like a hypochondriac (suffering from health phobia) but definitely mean the difference between life and death. Some of the possible triggers to look out for:
- Urination issues: Foamy or bubbly urine, frequent urination urges, greater quantity of urine than normal, decreased quantity of urine than normal, urge but no urine flow, blood in the urine, increase in urine infections, and/or burning sensation during urination.
- Swelling/Puffiness: Swelling or puffiness especially on the face, ankles, legs, feet and/or hands, due to inability of the kidneys to expel fluid from the body.
- Anemia/Tiredness: Diminished renal function means lower production of hormone EPO (erythropoietin), the trigger for producing more oxygen-carrying RBCs. Low oxygen levels leave the muscles and other processes starved of vital oxygen leading to extreme fatigue and/or anemia.
- Rashes: Excess accumulation of wastes, not disposed by the underactive kidney leads to skin eruptions and excessive itching.
- Bad breath: A metallic (iron like) taste due to accumulation of toxic wastes in the blood (called uremia) literally leaves a bad taste in the mouth, dwindling your appetite leading to weight loss.
- Brain Fog: Lack of oxygen to the brain leads to multiple fallouts like memory loss, lack of concentration, and dizziness.
- Back Pain: Though this can be noticed in rare cases, but Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) can cause pain in the upper back (near the kidneys) or on the same side as the affected kidney.
- Nausea: Uremia leads to a feeling of nausea and bouts of vomiting.
- Breathlessness: Both due to lowered oxygen-carrying RBCs and fluid retention in the lungs.
- Chills: The anemic condition causes a feeling of excessive cold and patients reporting chills even in hot conditions.