Symptoms of chronic kidney disease can be high blood pressure, tiredness, anemia, and poor appetite. Know the rest of the symptoms and how doctors diagnose this disease.
Chronic kidney failure is that the kidneys gradually stop working properly. These organs are essential, as they are responsible for filtering the blood and excreting waste substances through the urine.
In addition, they also fulfill hormonal, electrolyte and metabolic functions. Therefore, when this disease progresses and there’s irreversible loss of function, it is a situation incompatible with life if you don’t get treatment.
At the beginning it is usually asymptomatic, so reaching the diagnosis can be complex. In this article we explain all the symptoms that appear and how chronic kidney failure is diagnosed.
Symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney failure is a disease that produces a wide variety of manifestations. This is because, as we have pointed out, the kidneys fulfill numerous functions in the body.
Some of the most common symptoms are anorexia (loss of appetite), nausea, and vomiting. According to a study in the Journal of Nephrology, these signs are due to increased urea in the blood. Unfortunately, it can persist even with treatment, increasing the risk of malnutrition.
High blood pressure, fatigue, and trouble sleeping are other common manifestations. When the kidneys do not work, there is general fluid retention. This causes a feeling of shortness of breath, leg swelling, and chest pain.
These alterations usually appear when the kidneys are already very damaged. The electrolytes that are most often affected are bicarbonate, sodium and potassium. Potassium tends to rise in the blood, leading to heart rhythm disturbances.
Bicarbonate is essential to regulate the levels of internal acidity in the body. When advanced chronic kidney failure develops, metabolic acidosis occurs.
Cardiovascular manifestations of chronic renal failure
In an article in the Annals of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery, they mention that kidney failure shares many risk factors with cardiovascular disease. For example, old age, smoking, and dyslipidemia.
High levels of urea in the blood cause an acceleration of the atherosclerosis process. This consists of the formation of cholesterol plaques in the blood vessels that prevent adequate blood flow. Hence, there is a greater risk of suffering from ischemic heart disease and heart failure, among other problems.
Anemia is one of the earliest symptoms of this disease. In fact, as chronic kidney failure progresses, this disorder also worsens. It is caused by a deficiency of erythropoietin, a substance that is synthesized in the kidneys and that stimulates the formation of red blood cells.
Osteomuscular disorders due to chronic renal failure
Renal osteodystrophy is the term that refers to all skeletal symptoms secondary to kidney disease. Deformities in some bones, such as fingers, or more fractures are common. Bone tissue pain is present in most patients.
Both in men and women there are alterations of a sexual nature. According to the Clinic of the University of Navarra, the female sex tends to suffer alterations in menstruation. Men, on the other hand, suffer from impotence and a decrease in the number of sperm.
Find out more: 14 Signs Of Hormonal Imbalance That Most People Ignore
Consequences on the skin
Chronic kidney failure also causes changes in the skin. In fact, they appear as a result of hemodialysis treatment. For example, there is frequent itchiness, dryness and changes in the hair. Anemia also causes pale skin.
How to diagnose it?
When the disease advances, symptoms can appear. Therefore, it is important to carry out a series of tests that allow the early diagnosis of insufficiency.
First, you should do a blood test that shows creatinine and urea levels. They are two indicators of kidney function. Urinalysis is also performed, as is the usual quantification of the volume expelled in a full day.
Imaging tests such as ultrasound or MRI can complement the diagnosis. The kidneys tend to decrease in size, as does the amount of urine excreted. This can be recorded by imaging.
A complex disease
Chronic kidney failure is a complex disease that you must treat as effectively as possible, depending on the resources available. Hemodialysis is usually the technique of choice. It is important to bear in mind that it influences many aspects of the body.
In the same way, there are certain situations that increase the risk posed by this disease, such as smoking. Smoking increases the chances of both cardiovascular and kidney complications, which is why it is one of the essential aspects to take into account.
The recommendations of care and approach of nephrologists for patients with renal failure are unavoidable. The vital quality depends on the respect of these indications and the observance of specific routines of diet and lifestyle.
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