8 Early Signs of Renal Insufficiency

February 6, 2019
Although some of these symptoms may seem normal, it's always advisable to see a doctor to rule out renal insufficiency and other kidney problems.

Our kidneys are the organs that are responsible for detoxifying our body by flushing out toxins through our urine. Furthermore, among other things, kidneys also balance the levels of sodium, calcium and other important substances in our body. However, we need to be aware for signs that things are not as they should be, and in this article we’ll be looking at 8 early signs that could indicate renal insufficiency.

Our kidneys are located below the rib cage and remove toxins from about 120 to 125 liters of blood per day. However, sometimes the body stores too much waste and this prevents the kidneys from performing at their best.

As a consequence, this alters important body functions and may lead to us developing diseases that can affect our health.

The most worrying thing is that it is very difficult to detect this problem in a timely manner. As more time goes by, it is more complicated to treat problems caused by renal insufficiency.

Below you will find eight of the main symptoms, which will help you ascertain whether you are suffering from this condition.

1. Renal insufficiency: changes in your urine

A sample of urine.

Changes in urination habits, as well as alterations in the composition of urine, are early symptoms of renal insufficiency.

If you have this condition, then it’s common to experience changes in your urine, given that the kidneys are responsible for producing it.

For example, renal insufficiency may cause us to go to the bathroom at night more often. It may also cause us to desperately need to go to the bathroom during the day.

When suffering from renal insufficiency, it’s also common for your urine to appear yellower than usual—in fact, it can appear almost orange. Moreover, the smell of your urine will normally be stronger or unpleasant.

Also read: 8 Types of Urine Indicating Our Health

2. Edema or swelling

Water retention or edema may be the result of renal insufficiency. This is because there is an imbalance in the body’s inflammatory processes and too much liquid is kept in its tissues.

Swelling can occur in:

  • Feet and legs
  • The ankles
  • The face
  • Hands
  • And, the abdomen

3. Acne

An acne spot on the skin.

Toxins that remain in the bloodstream due to renal insufficiency can cause acne. This is because these toxins are transported to our pores and sometimes alter the production of natural oils on our face.

As a result, spots can appear on our face along with an itching sensation, which can become unbearable.

Acne can be controlled by using skin treatments, however, it’s necessary to cleanse your kidneys if your acne is caused by renal insufficiency.

4. Discomfort in the lower back

Lower back pain or pain felt on one side of the body may indicate the onset of kidney disease.

Although it’s easy to confuse these symptoms with common muscle pain, you should pay attention to these signs as they could be symptoms of polycystic kidney disease, kidney stones or liver disease.

5. Nausea and vomiting

A woman vomiting in the toilet.

Although multiple factors can cause these symptoms, we shouldn’t rule out that they are due to renal insufficiency, especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms.

In the case of renal insufficiency, we may become nauseous or vomit because the waste in our body has not been fully removed, and this stops our body’s systems from functioning correctly.

6. Dry skin

As the renal insufficiency progresses, the body becomes dehydrated and loses its ability to use fluids correctly. Because of this, our skin loses its natural moisture and becomes drier over time.

7. Dizziness

Some patients with renal failure and renal infections may develop anemia, which should be monitored as soon as possible.

It’s important to consult your doctor if your experience persistent dizziness, light-headedness, and fatigue.

These conditions occur because there are not enough red blood cells in the body, which causes the brain to stop receiving the necessary amount of oxygen.

See also: No-fail Homemade Remedies for Anemia

8. Loss of appetite

A woman with a loss of appetite.

A person who normally eats well, but then suddenly loses their appetite should go for a checkup to see the reason for this.

Although kidney problems are not the only factor that can cause loss of appetite, it’s a possibility that must be considered.

Interestingly, sometimes kidney failure causes hiccups and, in turn, causes us to feel full.


Renal insufficiency can be treated when it is detected in its initial stages. However, this malfunction can lead to serious conditions such as hypertension, chronic water retention and infections, if left undiagnosed.

Try to lookout for any of these signs and visit your doctor if you feel there is cause for concern.