For Educational Purposes Only.

There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but most other conditions. Those suffering from kidney disease tend not to feel the symptoms until the very late stages, such as when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. Patient awareness is less than 10 percent for those with stages 1 to 3 CKD1. The early signs can be very subtle, and it can take many years to go from Chronic Kidney Disease to kidney failure.

An individual has a high risk of kidney disease if suffering from hypertension, diabetes, or has a family history of kidney disease2. This type of individual should be tested annually for kidney disease.

As the kidney functions start to decrease, the urinary habits undergo a change. This change can be as simple as increase or decrease in quantity as well as the frequency,one may have to get up at night a couple of time to urinate and one may pass blood in the urine3.

A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to accumulation of toxins and impurities in the blood. This causes the individual to feel tired, less energy, and have issues concentrating4. The complication of kidney disease can lead to anemia. When kidneys aren’t filtering properly, toxins stay in the blood rather than excreted by the body through the urine. This condition makes it difficult for the patient to sleep4. A healthy kidney removes waste and extra fluids from one’s body, helps make red blood cells, helps keep bones strong, and works to maintain the right amount of minerals in blood. When kidneys are no longer able to maintain the right balance of minerals and nutrients in blood, one tends to get dry and itchy skin4. Damaged kidney filters allow leakage of blood into urine. Bubbly or foamy urine is indication of protein’s presence in the urine, which is an early sign that the kidneys’ filters have been damaged5. A build-up of wastes in the blood can make food taste different and cause bad breath. There is a loss of appetite due to the accumulation of toxins from decreased kidney function. Impaired kidney functions leads to electrolyte imbalances, low calcium, low phosphorous, and frequent cramping of muscles6.

Kidney disease can be found and treated early to prevent more serious complications. Thus, it is all the more important to keep a watchful eye on the above-mentioned early warning signs of kidney disease.

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  1. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.(2016,December01). Kidney Disease Statistics for the United States. From disease
  2. American Kidney Fund. (2019). Causes and risk factors. Retrieved from are-you-at-risk/
  3. National Kidney Foundation. (2019, May 01). 10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease. Retrieved from https://
  4. National Kidney Foundation. (2019, May 01). 10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease. Retrieved from https://
  5. American Kidney Fund. (2019). Protein in urine. Retrieved from kidney-problems/protein-in-urine.html
  6. National Kidney Foundation. (2019, May 01). 10 Signs You May Have Kidney Disease. Retrieved from https://