Eight Early Signs of Renal Insufficiency

Although some of these symptoms may seem normal, it's always advisable to see a doctor to rule out any possible renal problems.
Eight Early Signs of Renal Insufficiency
Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas

Written and verified by the doctor Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

Renal insufficiency can be caused by poor lifestyle habits and other factors. So, how can you detect it beforehand?

Before starting this conversation, you must remember the kidneys are organs that fulfill several vital functions. However, its ability to filter and cleanse your blood of waste products (from the food you eat) is more often emphasized.

If they don’t function properly, it isn’t possible to enjoy a healthy life. Therefore, it’s important to learn to keep them healthy by practicing some good habits.

When they have difficulty performing their functions, you’ll experience various signs and symptoms. It’s important to know what they are since they can alert us that it’s time to go to the doctor to see if we’re suffering from a kidney or other problem.

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

Kidney health is key to your wellbeing

As we mentioned before, the 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 bodies.

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 becomes more complicated to treat problems caused by renal insufficiency. Because of this, it’s essential to know how difficulties in its mechanism manifest and when to suspect something’s wrong.

Early symptoms of kidney disorders

Below are some symptoms that could indicate the presence of a kidney health problem.

Keep in mind that if you have one or more of these symptoms, it is best to go to your doctor for a check-up, and they can tell you what the diagnosis is and give you an appropriate treatment.

Under no circumstances ignore the symptoms or try to “treat” them at home with natural remedies, as this could backfire, even in the short term.

1. Changes in your 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 your:

  • Feet
  • Face
  • Legs
  • Ankles
  • Hands
  • Abdomen

3. Acne

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 faces.

4. Discomfort in the lower back

A person's back with tension spots.

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. In this case, the doctor will be in charge of making the appropriate diagnosis.

5. Nausea and vomiting

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. Therefore, to treat it you shouldn’t just apply moisturizers, but also improve the health of your kidneys.

7. Dizziness

A person putting pressure on their forehead.

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 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.

Is it possible to correct renal insufficiency?

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 look out for any of these signs and visit your doctor if you feel there is a cause for concern. It’s the best bet for your health.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.