Chronic kidney weakness: First signs and symptoms

First signs

In the beginning, chronic kidney weakness often manifests itself only by slight signs of illness or even runs completely without symptoms. The kidney weakness symptoms can manifest in different ways. Often the kidney problems are overlaid by the symptoms of the underlying disease, e.g. by the symptoms of diabetes or vasculitis.

kidney weakness symptoms may become worse if action is not taken as quickly as possible. Here you can find out what the symptoms are, and if you have these symptoms you should take the right steps.

Treating kidney weakness: Search for medication

The kidneys clean the blood, regulate blood pressure, salt and water balance and produce important hormones. They carry out their work unnoticed, even if they are getting worse and worse. More and more people develop progressive kidney weakness without even realising it. In Europe for example, ten percent of adults already have chronic kidney disease and in many cases eventually depend on artificial blood washing (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.


Kidney Weakness Symptoms

With increasing age, kidneys naturally become weaker. In addition, painkillers and numerous diseases put a strain on the detoxification organs. Symptoms that may indicate kidney problems are

-high blood pressure
-stinging headache
-Water in the legs
-Skin that stretches
-foam on the urine
For example, an autoimmune disease can lead to chronic inflammation of the kidneys, which drives up the blood pressure, causing severe headaches.


Early symptoms of a kidney disease can be

-Increased excretion of light-colored, light-colored urine
-Elevated blood pressure
water retention (edema) on the legs, around the eyes or on the whole –body
-Red urine


A creeping course with little or no symptoms is characteristic of chronic kidney weakness. An initial high blood pressure of over 140/90 mmHg or a high blood pressure that is increasingly difficult to control can be an early sign of the disease.

Many patients often produce light-colored, poorly concentrated urine and store water in the skin and subcutaneous tissue (edema). Foaming urine when urinating can be an indication of proteins in the urine. A healthy kidney excretes a maximum of 200 milligrams of protein per day, of which a maximum of 30 milligrams of the blood protein albumin. Higher values are referred to as microalbuminuria, while higher values of 300 milligrams albumin per day are referred to as proteinuria. Some patients also excrete blood with their urine. If this happens in larger quantities, the urine is colored red (microhematuria). However, there is usually so little blood in the urine that it is not visible to the naked eye and can only be detected by test strips (microhaematuria).

As the loss of function progresses, the kidneys can no longer fulfill their tasks. This leads to disorders of the water balance, the acid-base and electrolyte balance and other organ systems. The body is also more susceptible to infections. As the kidneys no longer produce sufficient amounts of the blood-forming hormone erythropoietin (EPO), the number of red blood cells decreases. Such anemia leads to tiredness, weakness, concentration problems and decreasing physical resilience.

A conspicuous paleness of the skin is a possible further clinical indication. In addition, patients often suffer from nausea, vomiting or diarrhea shortly before starting dialysis. Other symptoms may include memory loss, itching and burning in the legs and muscle and bone pain.

In the advanced stage of chronic kidney weakness, almost all organ systems are damaged by the kidneys’ lack of detoxification function (uremic syndrome). There are pathological changes in the cardiovascular system, the hematopoietic system, the gastrointestinal tract, the peripheral and central nervous system, the skin, the hormonal system and the bones.

Typical symptoms of end-stage kidney weakness (terminal kidney failure) are

-high blood pressure that can no longer be controlled
-Decrease in the amount of urine
-Water retention (edema)
-Shortness of breath
-Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite
-Irregular heartbeat
-drowsiness, drowsiness
-cramps, coma

With the help of the so-called glomerular filtration rate (GFR), chronic kidney weakness is divided into five stages. The GFR is a laboratory value that is 90-130 milliliters per minute for normally functioning kidneys. This means that a healthy kidney cleans at least 90 milliliters of blood per minute of freely filterable substances and excretes them in the urine.

Stage I: GFR greater than 90 milliliters/minute

In this phase patients often have no symptoms at all. The blood values for creatinine are still normal, only the protein excretion via the urine may be increased or there are other indications, e.g. in ultrasound, of kidney disease. If possible causes are already recognized now, a worsening of the disease can very often still be prevented.

Stage II: GFR between 60-89 milliliters/minute

Even at this stage, kidney weakness often cannot be detected by blood tests. The kidneys still seem to be functioning adequately, but more detailed examinations show kidney disease, e.g. by measuring urine protein or with ultrasound. In addition, more precise measurements, e.g. creatine clearance, can detect incipient kidney weakness.

Stage III: GFR between 30-59 milliliters/minute

The damage to the kidneys has now progressed so far that elevated creatinine and urea levels are also measured in the blood. Those affected suffer from high blood pressure, reduced performance and more rapid fatigue. In stage III, the risk of cardiovascular disease also increases significantly. The symptoms can be interpreted in different ways and do not necessarily indicate kidney weakness. Drugs that are normally excreted via the kidneys must now be reduced in dose to avoid side effects.

Stage IV: GFR between 15-29 milliliters/minute

At this stage, so many kidney cells are already defective that the inadequate elimination of toxins affects the entire organism. The symptoms therefore increase: loss of appetite, fatigue, vomiting, nausea, nerve pain, itching and bone pain. Because the body excretes less salt and water, edema also occurs.

Stage V: GFR below 15 milliliters/minute

If the kidney function is very severely restricted or if the kidneys fail completely, this is also called terminal renal failure. In this stage, the blood must be regularly cleaned of toxins by a blood wash (dialysis), otherwise the body is poisoned. Despite regular blood washing, terminal kidney failure can still lead to a yellowish discoloration of the skin and itching. Both are due to the storage of substances in the skin that should actually be excreted in the urine.


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