Kidney Problem Symptoms

What Are the Signs And Symptoms of Kidney Problems?

What are the signs and symptoms of kidney problems? Well, kidney problem symptoms depend largely on the kidney problem, disorder or condition you have.

Usually, there are no early symptoms of kidney problems. They can be "silent" for many years, and don't become apparent until a great deal of kidney damage has been done. This is generally true in the case of chronic renal failure ("renal" is a medical term for anything related to the kidneys).

But in other cases, kidney problem signs and symptoms occur suddenly and trigger severe, even agonizing pain. Such symptoms are typical if you have kidney stones or acute renal failure.

The goal of this article is to list the most common kidney problems symptoms and signs and to describe each briefly. Your doctor is the best judge of the possible kidney problems these signs and symptoms represent.

kidney problem symptomsKidney disease occurs when there's damage to the nephrons, which are the minute structures that filter blood. Common signs and symptoms of this kidney problem include discomfort during urination and urine that discolored (often reddish-yellow). You may feel the need to urinate more even when little or no urine is produced. Your blood pressure is likely to go up, and you'll experience muscle weakness, fatigue and a lack of energy.

Kidney infections develop when germs from the bladder travel up the ureters to the kidneys and begin to multiply. There are two general kinds of kidney infections: acute and chronic. Chronic symptoms are hard to diagnose in the early stages, but acute symptoms include back pain, fever or chills, nausea, cloudy, foul smelling urine, and unexplained weakness and fatigue.

Kidney failure is the end result of kidney disease or a kidney infection. The kidneys stop working when illness or injury keeps them from filtering properly. Signs and symptoms of this kidney problem include lethargy, weakness, shortness of breath, and generalized swelling. As waste products build up, symptoms become more pronounced and may include loss of appetite, profound lethargy and decreased mental function and ability to think clearly. Kidney failure is a life-threatening medical emergency. Someone with complete kidney failure has only two options for survival: kidney dialysis or a kidney transplantation.

A kidney stone is a pebble-like mass that accumulates in the urinary tract. Kidney stones occur because solid crystals in urine separate and build up on the inner surfaces of the kidney. Signs and symptoms of kidney stones include severe back pain and a feeling that you need to urinate often (even though very little urine comes out). Urine is frequently cloudy or tinged with blood. Nausea and vomiting are possible.

Kidney cancer is characterized by some of the same kidney problem symptoms mentioned above. Someone with kidney cancer may also experience anemia, elevated blood pressure or hypertension, decreased appetite, night sweats and unexplained weight loss.

Kidney cysts occur when abnormal pouches containing fluid, air or calcium grow on the kidneys. Calcium kidney cysts can be extremely painful. Symptoms of this kidney problem often don't appear for years after the cyst or cysts begin to develop. When they do present themselves, bloody or cloudy urine is one of the symptoms that's most prominent. Pain can occur in either the back or abdomen. Some people have simple kidney cysts that never cause symptoms at all.

Kidney damage can result from disease or from trauma, like a blow to the kidneys during sports competition or possibly an auto accident. When the kidneys are damaged, signs and symptoms often include back pain, abdominal pain and swelling, and cloudy or bloody urine. An increased heart rate is typical, as is nausea, vomiting, and a pale skin shade. Decreased alertness and cognitive difficulties are other typical symptoms.

Kidney problem symptoms should not be ignored. If you experience any or some of the signs and symptoms of kidney problems mentioned above, get medical attention as soon as you can. While some kidney problems are painful but not dangerous, others can be life-threatening.

Sources and Resources

National Kidney Foundation, National Kidney and Urological Diseases Information Clearinghouse.

Find out how you can learn more about the signs and symptoms of kidney problems by watching the video below.