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Kidney Failure - Recognising The Early Signs!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Aditya Pradhan 91% (74 ratings)
DNB (Urology), MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Urologist, Delhi  •  31 years experience
Kidney Failure - Recognising The Early Signs!

The kidneys are two small organs located in the abdomen. The main function performed by these organs is filtering of the blood. Kidneys help remove waste from the blood which they turn into urine so that it may be excreted from the body. In doing this they also help regulate blood pressure, maintain the production of red blood cells, and sustain the electrolyte balance. When the kidneys do not function properly, the results could be fatal.

Hence, it is important to be able to recognize the early signs and symptoms of Kidney failure.

  1. Tiredness: A decrease in kidney functioning can cause toxins to build up in the body and blood. This can make a person feel more tired than usual and keep them from concentrating on simple tasks. Kidney failure is also associated with anemia which can also contribute to fatigue.
  2. Trouble sleeping: Chronic kidney disease has been linked to obesity and sleep apnea. Both these conditions can make it difficult for a person to fall asleep and stay asleep. The buildup of toxins in the blood can also contribute to insomnia.
  3. Dry skin: The skin is one of the first organs to show signs of internal organ failure. Thus, when the kidneys stop functioning as well as they are supposed to, the skin turns dry and itchy. This is because the production of red blood cells is reduced and the amount of minerals or nutrients in the body is unbalanced.
  4. Increased urge to urinate: An increased urge to urinate frequently especially at night could be a sign of kidney disease. This may also be a sign of a urinary infection.
  5. Blood in the urine: Urine should ideally be clear and pale yellow in color. Seeing blood mixed with urine should never be ignored. This is a sign that the kidneys have been damaged and blood is leaking into the urine. It could also be a sign of kidney stones, an infection, or a tumor in the kidney.
  6. Foamy urine: Excessive foam in the urine that does not go away even after flushing could be a sign of protein in the urine. This foam may look similar to a beaten egg white as it is produced by albumin; the same protein present in eggs.
  7. Swollen ankles: Swollen ankles are a sign of sodium retention. This is caused by the improper filtration of blood by the kidneys. The patient may also notice his or her feet getting swollen.

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