Mar 15, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Burbank
The only way to see if your elderly relative has kidney disease is to get checked by a doctor. Kidney disease will not go away – left untreated it may result in kidney failure. Once that happens the only viable options are regular dialysis or an organ transplant. Detecting and treating kidney disease early on is your best bet.
Changes in Urination – these changes can involve urinating more frequently than usual, difficulty urinating, pain or pressure while urinating and discolored urine or blood in urine.
Swelling – when kidney’s start to fail or are not working as they should the body retains fluid causing swelling of the ankles, feet, legs, hands or even the face. Because the body is not processing (expelling) fluids properly weight gain is also an issue.
Fatigue – failing kidneys can cause the red blood cell count to drop. Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen the loss of these may cause the brain and muscles to feel tired. This is known as anemia.
Feeling Cold – a side effect of anemia is feeling cold all the time even in a warm environment.
Trouble Concentrating or Dizziness – as mentioned above – anemia is the body’s inability to transport oxygen to the brain and other muscles; someone with an oxygen-deprived brain will experience light-headedness or dizziness and have trouble concentrating.
Shortness of Breath – between the extra fluid build-up (especially in the lungs), the weight gain and the loss of red blood cells frequent shortness of breath may be a warning sign of impending kidney failure or anemia.
Back Pain – because the kidneys may swell up, people with kidney disease may experience pains in the lower back and the sides. Frequent pain in these areas is a symptom that should be checked as soon as possible for a diagnosis.
Rashes – besides retaining fluid, when the body’s kidneys fail waste builds up in the blood. This condition, known as uremia, cause red skin/rashes and severe itching.
Metallic Taste in the Mouth – Uremia can also cause a metallic taste in the mouth and bad breath. Food will also start to taste different and someone with uremia may no longer like the taste of meat.
Nausea and Vomiting – another effect of uremia is severe nausea and vomiting.
If you suspect kidney disease in your senior loved one, they should have their glomerular filtration rate (GFR) checked. The GFR test is a blood test and will show how well the kidney are functioning. You should also ask your healthcare provide about blood pressure medicines as they may help slow down kidney disease.
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, get checked for kidney disease. For more information the NIH provides, facts, tools, education and promotes awareness of CDK on their National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP) website.