Kidney disease is a life-altering condition that requires early detection and intervention to maximize an individual’s prognosis. Unfortunately, kidney disease is not always easy to spot because, in its earliest stages, it often presents without noticeable symptoms. Those at risk for kidney disease must know the following early warning signs to look out for to take action promptly.

1. Changes in Urination

In the early stages of kidney disease, people may notice that they need to urinate more or less than is typical. This change in habit may be accompanied by dark urine or reduced volume. If you observe changes in your urination habits, report any concerning results to a urologist in Pembroke Pines who can assess for possible kidney stone treatment.

2. Swelling of Some Body Parts

Swelling in the legs, ankles, feet, abdomen, and hands could be an early sign of kidney disease. When this occurs, your body is telling you that your kidneys are not filtering out extra fluids and other by-products from your body, causing an imbalance.

3. Always Feeling Fatigued

Fatigue can be a major warning sign of an underlying kidney issue. If you have kidney disease, you may have difficulty concentrating or staying awake. You may also need help to exercise or do other physical activities. When the kidneys are not functioning correctly, the body can’t make or process enough red blood cells. Our bodies don’t receive enough oxygen to provide energy, leading to a perpetual tired and worn-out feeling.

4. Developing Skin Problems

When kidneys malfunction, excess waste and toxins may accumulate in the bloodstream and cause a wide range of skin-related issues. These issues often start as minor irritations, such as itchy patches on the skin, but could become more severe if the underlying condition is not treated. Examples of possible skin conditions include rashes, dryness, discoloration, or bruising. It is important to visit a urologist in Pembroke Pines to determine whether these skin problems are related to a kidney condition or another health issue.

5. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is often one of the first indicators of kidney disease. It occurs when your kidneys cannot filter toxins from your blood, resulting in elevated pressure levels. Although taking medication for high blood pressure is vital, it does not necessarily treat the underlying cause.

Physical examinations and lab work may be necessary to determine if a kidney stone treatment or another type of kidney treatment is appropriate. Remaining vigilant about other potential kidney disease symptoms, such as protein in the urine, can help ensure that the condition is caught early and treated effectively.

6. Shortness of Breath

Shortness of breath can take many forms, from feeling winded when exercising to an inability to catch one’s breath at rest. As the kidneys become compromised, they cannot flush excess fluids and waste from the body. This leads to a buildup in the bloodstream and profoundly affects other organ systems, such as the heart and lungs, leading to shortness of breath in some individuals.

It is important to recognize the common symptoms of kidney disease before they become more severe, such as swelling, changes in urination habits, loss of sleep, and persistent fatigue. If any or all of these symptoms are present, it may be time to consult your doctor about potential treatments for early-stage kidney problems. Contact Uro-medix (Division of GenesisCare) for urologic care and surgery.