Symptoms & Diagnosis

Dialysis Treatment Centers

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

With kidney diseases, the first symptoms you may have are ones that you won't feel but that will show up in tests that your doctor orders. Common problems are high blood pressure, anaemia and weakening bones. Knowing the symptoms of kidney disease can help people detect it early enough to get treatment. Symptoms can include:

  • Changes in urination including making more or less urine than usual, feeling pressure when urinating, changes in the colour of urine, foamy or bubbly urine, or having to get up at night to urinate
  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, hands, or face due to fluid the kidneys can't remove which may stay in the tissues
  • Fatigue or weakness due to a build-up of wastes or a shortage of red blood cells (anaemia) can cause these problems when the kidneys begin to fail
  • Shortness of breath: Kidney failure is sometimes confused with asthma or heart failure, because fluid can build up in the lungs
  • Ammonia breath or an ammonia or metal taste in the mouth: Waste build-up in the body can cause bad breath, changes in taste, or an aversion to protein foods like meat
  • Back or flank pain: The kidneys are located on either side of the spine in the back
  • Itching: Waste build-up in the body can cause severe itching, especially of the legs
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • More hypoglycaemic episodes, if diabetic

The CKD symptoms are grouped in categories based on the typical cause.

Symptoms of kidney failure that can be caused by a build-up of wastes in the body include:

  • A metallic taste in the mouth or ammonia breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Produce hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and ensure bone health
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Itchiness (pruritis)
  • Swelling in the face, feet or hands
  • Shortness of breath (from fluid in the lungs)

Symptoms of kidney failure that can be caused by damage to the kidneys include:

  • Making more or less urine than usual
  • Urine that is foamy or bubbly (may be seen when protein is in the urine)
  • Blood in the urine (typically only seen through a microscope)

Symptoms of kidney failure that can be caused by anemia (a shortage of red blood cells) include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Feeling cold all the time
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mental confusion
  • Desire to chew ice, clay or laundry starch (this is called pica)

If you believe you have any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor about your concerns. This is especially important if you have a close family member who has kidney disease, or if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, which are the main causes of kidney failure.

Are you at risk for kidney disease?

Kidney disease can be found through lab tests or by symptoms. High blood levels of creatinine and urea nitrogen (BUN) or high levels of protein in your urine suggest kidney disease. Diabetics should have a yearly urine test for microalbumin, small amounts of protein that don't show up on standard urine protein test.

To find a No-Cost Kidney Screening in your city click here

Do you know the causes of kidney disease and if you’re at risk? Take a 3-minute Kidney Disease Risk Quiz to see if you’re at risk for renal disease.

Take this 3-minute quiz to find out if you are at risk

If you have signs of kidney disease, you should ask for a referral to a nephrologist, a specialist in treating kidney disease. A nephrologist will perform an evaluation then suggest medications or lifestyle changes to help slow the progression of kidney disease. To contact a nephrologist at DaVita you may call us at 9740426060 or fill the form below :

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