Signs and symptoms of kidney disease
The kidneys are involved in many of your body's functions. Frequently, in the early stages of kidney decline, patients don't notice detectable symptoms or signs of disease. Routine screenings with your primary care or other physician can reveal early or more significant indicators of kidney problems.
HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE (hypertension or HTN)
High blood pressure can be both a cause or a consequence of your kidney disease. Declining kidney function impairs your body's ability to regulate your blood pressure (BP). Some patients develop higher blood pressure as their kidneys age or decline; some develop fluctuating and difficult-to-control blood pressure. We specialize in managing abnormal blood pressure.
This is a condition of low red blood cell count. Your kidneys help your body make blood cells, and patients with moderate to advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) frequently develop anemia. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, shortness of breath and pale skin, although, it can also be asymptomatic. Anemia can show up on a blood test. We help patients treat this associated condition.
When your kidneys are functioning properly, you expel via urination all or most of the sodium that you consume each day. If your kidneys are not functioning properly, your body will retain sodium and fluid, which results in swelling. We specialize in helping our patients monitor and control this, and we tailor solutions to each patient.
IMPAIRED BONE HEALTH
Your kidneys help your body to balance minerals. Some of these, like calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium, are a major part of your skeletal health. With declining kidney function, those minerals can get out of balance and lead to weakened bones and a higher risk of fracture. A kidney specialist helps patients to restore mineral balance for healthy bones, particularly in CKD.
Healthy kidneys also help your body balance electrolytes, from sodium (salt) to potassium to other vitamins. Declining kidney function can lead to electrolyte imbalance. When kidney disease advances, the output of waste products via your urine declines, and as a result, electrolytes can build up and make you feel ill. Many patients experience nausea, loss of appetite, itchiness, and other symptoms that further worsen your nutritional health. We help our patients to manage these symptoms through both conservative and aggressive measures including dialysis and transplant.
Your kidneys determine how much water your body retains. Sodium levels in your blood correlate to the volume of water in your body. Kidney specialists treat both hyponatremia (too much water) and hypernatremia (too little water).
A service of the National Kidney Foundation
Tens of millions of people develop kidney disease. Kidney disease can be sudden and, sooner or later, recover. It can also be chronic -- "CKD," or chronic kidney disease -- and progressive. Only 3% of people with CKD develop kidney failure - a state that may require dialysis, transplant, or other advanced care planning.
Courtesy of the National Kidney Foundation