What are the signs of kidney problems?

Kidney symptoms are signs of abnormalities in kidney function. The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste out of the bloodstream. Healthy kidneys function continuously and the body’s total blood supply passes through the kidneys several times each minute. The healthy body can continue to function with only one good kidney, as happens when a person volunteers to be a living kidney donor.

When the kidneys become damaged, infected or inflamed, they can lose some of that filtering ability. This can lead to changes in urination and a buildup of waste products in the blood, which can affect the entire body.

Kidney symptoms can be either systemic or kidney specific. Common kidney symptoms include changes in urine output; pain or burning with urination; changes in the color, smell, or appearance of urine; or pain in the sides or abdomen. Systemic (whole body) kidney symptoms include fatigue, weakness, a general ill feeling, confusion, swelling (edema), or changes in consciousness. Kidney symptoms range from very mild to very severe and even life threatening.

Kidney symptoms and their treatment will depend on the underlying disease or disorder. Common disorders of the kidneys include glomerulonephritis (kidney inflammation), pyelonephritis (kidney infection), and kidney cysts. In many cases, kidney symptoms will resolve once the underlying disorder has been treated.

One of the most successful techniques for preventing kidney symptoms is to consume an adequate amount of fluid. For mild kidney symptoms, over-the-counter medications or home remedies, such as hot pads, may be useful.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious kidney symptoms, including loss of consciousness, even for a brief moment; confusion; severe side or flank pain; inability to urinate; or high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit).

If your kidney symptoms are persistent or cause you concern, seek prompt medical care.


What other symptoms might occur with kidney symptoms?

Kidney symptoms may accompany other symptoms that vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that affect the kidneys frequently affect the entire body, as they allow waste to build up in the blood stream.

Kidney-specific symptoms that may occur along with other kidney symptoms

Multiple symptoms affecting the kidneys may occur at once inclu... Read more about kidney symptomssymptoms


What causes kidney symptoms?

Kidney symptoms can be caused by any sort of injury or damage to the kidneys. Often, the kidneys are damaged by injury, infection, inflammation, or high blood pressure. If the volume of blood that passes through the kidneys is too high or too low, it can interfere with the kidneys’ ability to filter out waste.

Common causes of kidney symptoms

Kidney symptoms may be caus... Read more about kidney symptomscauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System

Popular Related Slide Show