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Caregivers Help Seniors Identify Signs & Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Mar 1, 2018 by Erin Couchell

If you’re loved one is experiencing abnormal symptoms, caregivers can help get the proper medical assistance

Very often, kidney disease goes unnoticed until it reaches the advanced stages when it is more difficult to treat and manage it successfully. Since the symptoms are non-existing or very subtle, it is very important that seniors know how to recognize some health changes as potential early kidney disease signs. Here are some of the symptoms that may point to kidney disease:

Urination Changes

One of the most prominent signs of kidney disease is changes in urination, such as foamy urine, urine with traces of blood, frequent urination, especially during the night, and troubles urinating. Professional caregivers strongly suggest that seniors with any of these symptoms reach out to their medical team as soon as possible to determine their cause.

Dyspnea (Shortness of Breath)

Shortness of breath often develops in the later stages of kidney diseases, resulting from fluid buildup in the lungs and anemia. Shortness of breath can also be a symptom of asthma and heart disease, so it’s important that your aging loved one doesn’t ignore it and schedules an appointment with their physician at once.

Fatigue and Weakness

While weakness and fatigue can be signs of various health problems, they can also indicate kidney problems. Expert caregivers point out that even signs as banal as low energy shouldn’t be ignored, as they may be symptoms of serious conditions.

Accumulation of Fluids in Feet and Ankles

Sodium retention is one of the consequences of reduced kidney function, leading to feet and ankle swelling. Swelling of feet and ankles needs to be addressed immediately, as it can also be a sign of leg vein issues, heart conditions or liver problems.

Constantly Feeling Cold

Constant and overwhelming coldness is often a sign of kidney disease or anemia, so if your senior loved one feels cold all the time including when they are surrounded by warmth, professional caregivers recommend they talk to their doctor. It is important to note that kidney infection may cause symptoms such as high fever and chills.

Bad Taste in the Mouth

When waste builds up in the blood, a person may have a bad taste in the mouth. This symptom can also be a side effect of medications, especially those used to treat kidney stones and arthritis.

The only way to know for sure if you or your loved one have kidney disease is to talk to your doctor, who can perform basic screening tests to rule out or confirm the condition. A kidney specialist can develop a plan of treatment and recommend certain lifestyle changes in case the tests come back positive.

It is important to keep in mind that seniors with kidney disease can maintain a high quality of life with the help and support of family or professional caregivers.

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