Early Signs Of Kidney Disease

Signs or symptoms of early kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Symptoms often develop when the disease has relatively progressed. The earliest sign that indicates kidney malfunction is abnormally elevated levels of urea or creatinine in the blood. This can be confirmed using a simple blood test called basic metabolic panel (BMP), which detects abnormalities in the levels of these two substances.

Early Signs Of Kidney Disease

Apart from blood tests, there are many subtle physical symptoms that might indicate an early manifestation of kidney disease.

Difficulty Urinating

Kidneys are the integral component of the renal system that produces urine. Abnormalities that could arise if the kidneys are not functioning adequately include:

  • frequent need to urinate, especially at night
  • burning sensation accompanying urination
  • decrease in the amount of urine
  • cloudy, odd-colored or foamy urine
  • Bloody Urine

Medically referred to as hematuria, seeing blood in the urine can indicate various problems associated with kidney function and must be looked into immediately.


The kidneys primary function is to remove excessive fluids from the body, so when their functioning is impaired, the body starts to accumulate fluids. This causes characteristic swelling of the ankles, hands and feet, legs, and even the face. Swelling might also occur in the lungs, causing labored breathing and shortness of breath.

Back Ache

Due to their location, kidney disease also results in pain in the back and sides, often in the center of the back or below the rib cage.

Skin Rash or Itching

The accumulation of waste products in the blood often causes skin reactions, which show up as severely itchy rashes.


A lesser known function of the kidneys is to assist in the production of red blood cells. These cells are responsible for carrying and providing oxygen to all cells of the body. A lack of red blood cells means less oxygen, a condition commonly known as anemia that is associated with tiredness, lack of stamina, dizziness and impaired memory.

You are tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating. A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel fatigue, weak and can make it hard to focus can be count as early signs of kidney disease.