When you know the symptoms of chronic kidney disease (CKD), you can get treatment and feel your best. CKD symptoms can be subtle. Some people don’t have any symptoms — or don’t think they do. If you have one or more of the symptoms below or worry about kidney problems, see a doctor for blood and urine tests.
Changes in urinary function
Since kidneys make urine, when they are failing your urinary patterns may change. Some examples of this change include:
• Urine may be foamy or bubbly
• You may start getting up more in the night to urinate
• You may urinate more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine
• You may urinate less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark colored urine
• You may feel pressure or have difficulty urinating
• Your urine may contain blood
Preliminary changes in urinary function are moderate signs of kidney problems, with the change in color being a sign of more acute damage.
Swelling in various body parts
Kidneys remove wastes and extra fluid from the body, so when they are not working properly and are unable to perform this function, extra fluid will build up. This often causes swelling of the face, hands, legs, ankles, and feet.
Swelling in certain parts of the body
The toxins, if not properly eliminated from the body with the help of kidneys, start to accumulate in other body parts like the feet, arms, face, legs, and ankles.
Lower back pain
One of the first and most consistent signs of kidney damage, or just slow and unhealthy kidneys, is lower back pain.
Sometimes it’s only on one side, which occurs if someone sleeps on only one side, and this will be the side the kidney is having more problems with due to gravity. But in most cases, at least shortly after it’s on one side only, the pain will move to both sides.
A typical example is waking up in the morning or even in the middle of the night and your lower back, one side or both, aches. You go to urinate and it may or may not come easily. Then your back loosens up a bit and feels much better.
This is an early warning sign of kidney damage and is much more treatable if addressed quickly.