5 Signs It Might Be Kidney Disease

Updated on February 10, 2021
Male patient at urologist's office

People with kidney disease often experience symptoms until they’re on the late stages. It means that when their kidneys have large amounts of protein in the urine or the kidney is failing. This reason makes only 10% with chronic kidney disease know they have it.

That’s why you should look out for these signs as they may indicate that you have kidney disease: 

1. Blood In Urine 

Hematuria is a medical name for presence of blood in the urine. This may be a sign that something is wrong with your urinary tract or kidneys. If the color of your urine is brown, red, or pink, you may have gross hematuria, which means you can see blood in your urine. On the other hand, you may not see blood in your urine if it’s microscopic hematuria.  

When your urine has a different color than usual, you may want to find a nephrologist to confirm if there’s hematuria. Sometimes, gross hematuria can be painful because of the blood clots in your urine.  

Although there are other reasons why there’s a presence of blood in your urine, it’s best to let a doctor test it. That way, you’ll know if you have kidney disease or an infection. 

2. Urinating More Often 

Usually, adults urinate at least four to six times a day. However, if you have an increased volume of urine or you need to urinate more often, you may be experiencing excessive urination. It may include a sensation of urgency, such that you need to urinate immediately.  

Although frequent urination may be due to excess water intake at night, some may be because of a kidney infection. Especially if frequent urination includes back pain and fever, you may need to see a doctor immediately. If left untreated, you may damage your kidney permanently. 

3. Swollen Ankles And Feet 

When your kidneys aren’t functioning well, fluid can build up in your body, especially your feet and ankles. Swelling or edema is due to trapped fluids in your body’s tissues. Although edema may also be symptoms of other underlying conditions, kidney disease may be one of them. 

4. Fatigue 

When you suddenly feel extreme and persistent tiredness without a reason to feel such, consider seeing your doctor because fatigue is also one of the symptoms of people with advanced kidney disease. One may feel lethargic, demotivating them to engage in physical activities. 

Excessive tiredness happens when impurities and toxins build up in your blood. This is because your kidneys aren’t functioning well. Some people may also experience difficulty in concentrating. 

5. Food Tastes Like Metal 

When your kidneys fail to function well, they may not be able to clean up your body waste. When wastes build up in your blood (uremia), it may cause bad breath. Moreover, you’ll taste food differently, such as metal-taste. This may lead to loss of appetite because you stop liking to eat meat. Sometimes, you don’t feel like eating, which makes you lose more weight. 


There are other signs of kidney failure or disease, but these are the most common ones. Although other reasons may cause them, you may want to confirm it by visiting your doctor. No matter how frequent you may have experienced them, it’s still best to undergo tests to determine if you have a kidney problem. That way, you can prevent it from worsening. 

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