Chronic kidney disease is one of the most prevalent chronic conditions in the United States, affecting around 37 million people. However, many people don’t know they have kidney disease until they develop more severe symptoms.

At LibertyMed Health Group in Glendale, California, Dr. Ara Shafrazian and Dr. Arthur Babakhanians are experts in diagnosing kidney disease even at early stages. Here are seven of the most important signs to look out for if you think you might have kidney disease.

1. Chronic fatigue

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste and toxins from your bloodstream so they’re excreted through your urine. Decreased kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins in your blood, leaving you feeling tired, weak, and unable to concentrate. 

2. Loss of appetite

Many patients with kidney disease complain about a loss of appetite, an odd taste in their mouth, or feeling full quickly. This is because the decline in kidney function can affect the substances that regulate your appetite. Additionally, built-up waste in the blood can cause a metallic taste in your mouth that can prevent you from enjoying normal foods.

Patients undergoing dialysis often find that the experience worsens appetite as well, which is why careful nutrition management is key to dealing with chronic kidney disease.

3. Sleep disturbances

Chronic kidney disease can lead to sleep disturbances in a number of ways. Kidney disease is associated with restless leg syndrome (RLS), which is thought to be caused by vitamin and mineral imbalances. Sleep apnea, in which you temporarily stop breathing during your sleep, is another condition associated with kidney disease.

Outside of these sleep disorders, accumulated toxins in your blood can make it more difficult to get to sleep.

4. Foot and ankle swelling

If you notice your feet and ankles swelling, it could be because of sodium-related water retention because of reduced kidney function. However, it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis at our office because lower limb swelling can also be a sign of liver disease, heart disease, or circulation problems.

5. High blood pressure

High blood pressure has a complex relationship with your kidneys because it can both cause kidney disease and be a symptom of the disease. If you have high blood pressure, it can cause damage to the delicate filtration units in your kidneys over time.  Kidney disease may also cause high blood pressure because your kidneys can no longer regulate blood pressure effectively.

6. Changes in urination

Because your urine is filtered through your kidneys, any sudden changes to your urination can be signs of problems such as kidney stones or kidney disease. If your urine is foamy, bloody, or discolored, it could be a sign of kidney disease.

Healthy kidneys usually prevent things like blood cells and protein from leaking into your urine. However, damaged kidneys can lead to bloody or foamy urine due to their inability to filter out blood and protein correctly.

Similarly, if you suddenly need to urinate more often or have trouble emptying your bladder, it could be due to kidney disease or a urinary infection. Damaged kidneys are less effective at filtering waste, requiring more frequent urination to get rid of it.

7. Nausea and vomiting

Patients with kidney disease often experience nausea and vomiting. This is often due to the build-up of toxins and waste in your bloodstream as well as certain medications for kidney disease. Many patients undergoing dialysis report having increased nausea and vomiting as well.

If you’ve experienced any of the above symptoms, it’s time to to talk with the doctors at LibertyMed Health Group about whether kidney disease is behind your symptoms. To find out more, call our team at 818-241-4129 or book an appointment online today.

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