Earliest symptoms of kidney disease
Kidney disease is a problem that affects 100 million people world-wide. It is a condition that describes the end result of several different diseases. The treatment for kidney disease will depend upon why the individual is suffering from the condition.
For instance, people who suffer from diabetes, high blood pressure, or polycystic disease will all have problems with their kidneys during the lifetime of their disease process.
Can The Body Function With One Kidney
Because the body is able to function using only one kidney the earliest symptoms of kidney disease may not show up until there is already significant damage to the organs.
For this reason the National Kidney Foundation recommends that all individuals should undergo three simple tests to screen for kidney disease – urine dipstick to test for protein in the urine, blood pressure monitoring and blood test to measure the glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
If the physician and individual aren’t watching for potential damage to the kidneys because of an already known underlying disease process such as diabetes, or the person isn’t getting a kidney function screening on a regular basis they may experience some of these early symptoms of the disease.
Your Kidney Is Your Filtration System
The kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste products, secreting hormones and regulating blood chemicals. When the kidney starts to have problems with function, the part that is more commonly affected is the filtration system.
This means that the early symptoms of kidney disease are usually related to the reaction of the body to the build up of waste products in the system.
Signs Of Kidney Disease
Some of the earliest symptoms of kidney disease include nausea and vomiting, polyuria (urinating more than the usual amount), high blood pressure and pain with urination. But some of these symptoms are also related to other disease processes.
For instance, polyuria, or urinating too much each day, is also a symptom of diabetes. Pain with urination is also a symptom of a bladder or urinary tract infection.
High blood pressure can be a precursor to kidney disease and cause the problem or it can be a result of the waste products in the blood stream. It can also be a secondary effect from peripheral vascular disease, diabetes or coronary artery disease and poor lifestyle choices.
Another sign of early kidney disease is when protein is excreted in the urine because the filtration system has been damaged. Physicians are able to determine this when they do a screening using a dipstick to test for protein.
Some researchers have found that this screening test has good predictive value to determine if the individual is at greater risk for developing kidney disease later in life.
Because the earliest signs and symptoms of kidney disease are often silent individuals who believe they might be at risk because of lifestyle choices or other disease conditions should be diligent in monitoring their health.
They can also suggest to their physician that these simple screening tests should be performed at least every 2 years to screen their health for a condition that has treatment options and prevention to stop damage to other organs.
American Kidney Fund: Take Charge of Your Kidney Health
National Kidney Foundation: How Your Kidneys Work
National Kidney Center: Symptoms
KidsHealth: Kidney Disease in Childhood
MayoClinic: Chronic Kidney Failure
Davita: Do You Have Symptoms of Kidney Disease