Kidney disease can be difficult for doctors to diagnose. In the early stages, this condition has vague symptoms that patients and doctors mistake for other complaints. Left untreated, however, a person who has kidney disease may eventually develop end-stage kidney failure and require a transplant.
Review the symptoms of kidney disease and seek immediate medical attention, or a second opinion if your doctor has dismissed your concerns.
When kidney disease first develops, the person may not display symptoms. In the early stages, he or she may experience weight loss with no known cause, high blood pressure that does not respond to hypertension medication, chest pain, skin itching, poor appetite, nausea and vomiting.
When the person does not receive immediate treatment for kidney disease, the organs become damaged and fail to work correctly. As the disease progresses, late-stage symptoms may include:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Loss of menstruation
- Foot and ankle edema
- Chronic hiccups
- Change in urination habits
- Sleep disturbances
- Easy bruising and bleeding
- Insatiable thirst
- Changes in skin color
- Halitosis (bad breath)
- Limb numbness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Lack of alertness
If the person does not receive treatment at this stage, he or she may develop seizures, nerve damage, osteoporosis, fluid buildup in the lungs and hypertension. If the lack of treatment resulted from misdiagnosis or failure to diagnose by the patient’s health care provider, he or she may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. In Florida, plaintiffs must file this type of claim within four years of discovering the health care provider’s negligence.