There are many types of kidney disease, most of which can be potentially serious. The symptoms that you experience depend upon the type of kidney malfunction you may be suffering from.
The kidneys excrete the waste products of metabolism. If you have any type of impaired kidney function, you will have increased creatinine and urea nitrogen in the blood, or azotemia (A higher than normal blood level of urea or other nitrogen-containing compounds in the blood. The hallmark test is the serum BUN (blood urea nitrogen) level. Usually caused by the inability of the kidney to excrete these compounds).
The kidneys regulate the body's content of water, sodium, and potassium. Hypertension, edema, and/or hyperkalemia may develop in renal (kidney) disease. Renal edema is first visible around your eyes.
The kidneys maintain the appropriate acid-base balance of plasma. Renal failure can result in Metabolic acidosis.
High blood pressure, anemia, and bone demineralization are common symptoms of serious kidney disease. Renal insufficiency due to underperfusion (dehydration, shock or a failing heart) or due to obstruction is also very common. High blood pressure commonly results from kidney problems, and always damages the kidneys to some extent. Once the kidney is damaged to a certain degree, it continues to deteriorate.
When the kidneys become diseased or damaged, they can suddenly or gradually lose their ability to perform their vital functions. Waste products and excess fluid then build up inside the body, causing several symptoms, particularly swelling of the hands and feet, shortness of breath, and a frequent urge to urinate.
The most common symptoms include: increased urination at night; the passing of very small amounts of urine (oliguria); swelling, particularly of the hands and feet; puffiness around the eyes; azotemia (Increased levels of urea in blood); unpleasant taste in the mouth and urine-like odor to the breath; persistent fatigue or shortness of breath; loss of appetite; increasingly higher blood pressure; pale skin; excessively dry, persistently itchy skin. In children: increased fatigue and sleepiness; decrease in appetite; and eventually, poor growth.
If you have been diagnosed with kidney malfunction and have these symptoms, you should be under the care of a physician. If you have these symptoms and have not been diagnosed, it is important that you bring this to the attention of your doctor.
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