Understanding the earliest symptoms of kidney disease can help you know when to see a doctor or when you can treat this at home.
Several Important Processes
The kidneys perform several very important functions to maintain the human body. If that function begins to deteriorate it can cause a variety of severe health problems.
Some of the most common and earliest symptoms of kidney disease often include pain in your back or flank where the kidney is located. Other common symptoms may be related to kidney failure as the functions of your kidney begin to slow down or stop.
Important Kidney Functions Include:
Remove Wastes And Toxins The most important function of the kidneys is to filter out wastes and toxic chemicals and drugs from the bloodstream
Balance Body Fluids Your kidneys balance your body fluids by excreting or retaining water
Produce Vitamin D Your kidneys produce enzymes that are involved in the production of vitamin D which is necessary for the prevention of osteoporosis.
Regulate Blood Pressure Your kidneys produce renin, an enzyme that helps to regulate your blood pressure.
Control The Production Of Red Blood Cells Your kidneys secrete two hormones that cause your bone marrow to produce red blood cells.
Kidney pain can develop when the kidney becomes inflamed and swollen stretching the renal capsule. The renal capsule is made up of fibrous connective tissue that is full of nerve endings that cause pain when the capsule is stretched.
The most common cause of kidney pain is kidney infection. Urinary tract infections are much more common in women than men.
These may occur when bacteria enters the urethra and then travels up into the bladder, and then into the kidney. These infections can cause pain in the low back or flank just below the ribs.
The pain from a kidney infection is a dull ache that gradually gets worse and may eventually becomes severe. There may be other symptoms such as burning with urination, foul smelling urine, or frequent urination.
Kidney Stones May Also Cause Low Back Or Flank Pain
The pain of kidney stones will often begin in the kidney and then migrate around to the flank and then on to your lower abdomen as the stone gradually travels through your urinary tract.
Kidney stones can occur when minerals or other compounds become too concentrated in the urine forming stones also known as calculi. These may develop when there is too much of a specific element in the urine, or not enough water being excreted in the urine.
The pain of kidney stones is sharp and severe. You will be unable to find a comfortable position, and feel the need to constantly be moving.
Symptoms Related To Kidney Failure
Skin itching or a rash may be present from the accumulation of waste products in your bloodstream.
Nausea and vomiting can occur if the waste products build up to a toxic level.
Dizziness or difficulty concentrating may develop if your brain is not getting enough oxygen from anemia or poorly controlled blood pressure.
Swelling in the feet or legs may appear if your kidneys are not regulating fluids correctly, and are causing you to retain water.
Shortness of breath can occur when you retain so much fluid that it begins collecting in your lungs.
Shortness of breath with minor exertion may be caused by anemia or a lack of red blood cells which carry oxygen to your muscles and organs.
Excessive fatigue with minor exertion may also be from anemia when the muscles do not receive enough oxygen.
Osteoporosis or Osteopenia can evolve slowly if your body is not producing or receiving enough vitamin D.
Any changes in your urine or urination habits may indicate that your kidneys are not functioning correctly. Possible changes may include:
♦Large amounts of very pale urine.
♦Small amounts of very dark urine.
♦Excessively foamy urine.
♦Traces of blood in your urine.
When To See Your Doctor
Your kidneys are complicated organs that perform a variety of vital functions to help your body work correctly. Closely monitoring these functions can help you know when your kidneys are working properly and when they are not.
Sometimes there are things that you can do to help your kidneys function correctly, but in most cases if you are noticing any of these earliest symptoms of kidney disease you should see your doctor for evaluation.
What Your Doctor Can Do
Infections do not go away by themselves without antibiotics. Kidney stones can cause pain so severe that you need to have strong pain medication. Questions about your kidney's function can be answered with simple blood tests or a urinalysis.
These are all things that your doctor can do to help you understand what might be happening when you first notice the earliest symptoms of kidney disease.