Common Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Failure

Most studies on Kidney Failure have found that the majority of those with kidney diseases are not aware of it, with only about 10% of those with chronic kidney failure actually knowing they have the disease. So, it is often not until the symptoms of kidney disease are noted and brought to the attention of a doctor that the disease is diagnosed.

Unlike many other conditions, kidney related problems are often not obviously related to the kidney. For example, it is rare that the area around the kidney will become tender and even changes in urine production, color, and odor are rare. Some might experience an increased amount of urination, but this can be caused by many different things, so often is not picked up upon for some time by the patient.

Common Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Failure

One of the most common symptoms of chronic kidney failure is fatigue and tiredness. The fatigue caused by kidney problems is often for no reason, leaving the individual tired all the time or significantly tired in the evening, with fatigue caused by exercise usually not falling into this category. While fatigue is arguably the leading symptom of kidney failure, the exact causes are not known, although those who are anemic see an increased risk of fatigue, with changes to diet not typically reducing the amount of fatigue.

Muscle Cramps are also very common in those who have kidney problems, which can occur in any muscle group, but are most likely to occur in the calf muscles. Often, the patient will experience spasms and contractions at night that they can not control. Like fatigue, doctors are unsure as to exactly why kidney failure causes these cramps, but often improving diet can help alleviate the problems.

Other common symptoms include bruising, nausea, vomiting, itching, and appetite loss. In the case of itching, it usually occurs at later stages of chronic kidney failure. It is also common for those with kidney problems to easily become short on breath during exercise or physical activity, but this is not as closely tied to kidney failure itself, but rather other complications, like heart disease, which often accompany chronic kidney failure.

In some cases, patients also report insomnia, diarrhea, memory loss, and tingling sensations in the hands and legs, but this is not as common.

Testing for Kidney Problems

Since it is so overwhelmingly common for those with chronic kidney disease to go undiagnosed, it is important to understand the different symptoms of kidney disease and test for it if the symptoms are identified.

There are actually over the counter self-test kits available, which are similar to pregnancy tests in that they are small strips that are placed in the urine stream, with changes in color relating to levels of glucose or protein in the urine. Both of which are indications that kidney problems might be present.

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