Though the early stages of chronic kidney disease often go unnoticed, damage to the kidneys still occurs.Mostly, people start noticing symptoms of kidney disease when irreversible damage to their kidney occurs – usually at advanced stages.
Kidney failure is the last stage of chronic kidney disease, affecting over 750,000 people in America each year. It is when one or both kidneys cannot function normally, resulting in many troublesome symptoms.
Swelling, Particularly Around Hands and Ankles
Sodium in the body retains water by binding to it. Healthy kidneys excrete excess sodium from the body to maintain its concentration in a normal range.
So, when your kidneys fail, they cannot excrete sodium from the body. This excess sodium in the body causes fluid buildup, leading to edema or swelling in the face, hands, feet, ankles, and/or legs.
Puffiness around your eyes is also a sign of kidney failure that occurs when protein leaks out from the body through your urine.
You also find it hard to catch your breath when fluid build-up in your organs like lungs.
A healthy kidney ships waste products from your blood out in your pee. When your kidney fails to function right, waste products and toxins build up in your body, causing fatigue.
The toxins affect your ability to concentrate, as well.
Furthermore, a failed kidney does not produce enough hormone (erythropoietin) required to produce red blood cells. So, when there are not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your muscle and brain, these organs do not work efficiently, and you feel tired.
Studies have reported that sleep apnea may hurt your kidneys by reducing oxygen supply to them and,occasionally, may lead to kidney failure.
On the other hand, kidney disease and kidney failure can also affect your sleep. Kidney failure may narrow your throat, cause the toxin to build up in your body, and lead to sleep problems like sleep apnea.
Changes in Urinary Output
Another warning sign of end-stage renal is that your urine output and frequency of urination will be much more than what it used to be before you got kidney disease. This is because, in kidney failure, the damaged tubules fail to handle the filtrate load, leading to the patient peeing more often.
Dry or Itchy Skin
When kidneys fail to flush out toxins from the body, they build up in the blood, causing your skin to become rough and scaly. This also causes you to itch your skin all over.
The skin color may also change due to the toxin build-up.
Electrolytes, such as sodium, calcium, potassium, etc.,in an optimal range, are crucial to the proper working of our muscles and nerves.
One of the tasks of a healthy kidney is the regulation of these electrolytes in the body. When kidneys do not function well, electrolyte imbalance occurs, interrupting the normal working of muscles and nerves, leading to muscle cramps.
Kidney Failure in Southeastern Massachusetts
If you think you have the signs and symptoms of kidney failure or have a health condition that increases your risk for kidney disease, make an appointment with our kidney specialists at Associates in Nephrology for a comprehensive evaluation and effective treatments.
We have highly trained and compassionate kidney experts who work with patients to help them understand their condition and to establish the best ways to prevent or manage their kidney condition. Our provider also provides preventive measures that you can follow to keep your kidneys healthy for the long term.