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Symptoms

Chronic kidney disease and polycystic kidney disease often go undiagnosed and are allowed to progress because the signs and symptoms are so subtle. There are 10 key kidney disease symptoms. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these symptoms, consult a doctor and request the proper blood and urine tests. Some of these symptoms may be related to conditions other than kidney disease, but only a doctor can provide a diagnosis after seeing your test results.

1. Changes in Urination

Because your kidneys are tasked with making urine, and thereby eliminating waste, any changes in the frequency, color, or appearance of urine should be taken seriously. Some common types of changes include:

  • Urinating more frequently during the night or in greater amounts
  • Urinating less often or in smaller amounts
  • Having foamy or bubbly urine or blood in your urine
  • Difficulty urinating

2. Swelling

If your kidneys are unable to remove extra fluid from your body, you will likely experience swelling in your legs, ankles, feet, face, or hands.

3. Skin Rash / Itching

If your kidneys are unable to remove waste from the bloodstream, the buildup can cause rashes and severe itching.

4. Leg, Back or Side Pain

Kidney problems can lead to pain in the back, side or even in the leg. Kidney cysts (large, fluid-filled sacs) resulting from polycystic kidney disease that form on kidneys and occasionally on the liver can also cause back and leg pain.

5. Metallic Taste in Mouth/Ammonia Breath

When waste builds up in the bloodstream, it can cause bad breath, a metallic taste in the mouth, and affect how food tastes. You may also have a change in appetite that results in weight loss.

6. Nausea and Vomiting

Waste buildup in the blood can also cause nausea and vomiting.

7. Feeling Cold

Healthy kidneys make the hormone known as erythropoietin, which prompts the body to make oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Kidney disease can interrupt the healthy production of this hormone and cause a decrease in red blood cells, a condition known as anemia. Anemia and kidney disease can result in a variety of symptoms, including constantly feeling cold and shortness of breath.

8. Shortness of Breath

Kidney disease can cause extra fluid to build up in the lungs, leading to shortness of breath. Anemia, a common side-effect of kidney disease which starves your body of oxygen, can also cause you to feel winded or short of breath.

9. Dizziness and Trouble Concentrating

When you suffer from anemia related to kidney failure, both your body and your brain will be lacking the proper amount of oxygen. The result can be dizziness, trouble with concentration, and memory-related issues.

10. Fatigue

When kidneys fail, and side effects like anemia set in, you may experience tired muscles, weakness, and overall fatigue.

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