Chronic kidney disease symptoms: Why the colour of your urine can tell you if your kidneys

Kidney failure: Expert outlines the symptoms of condition

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What is your wee telling you? The colour of your urine can give you clues about your health, and particularly how well your kidneys are functioning. Around three million Britons live with Chronic Kidney Disease, and although the disease can be managed effectively with medicine and lifestyle changes, it can cause kidney failure and put you at greater risk of heart disease. The earlier you can get a diagnosis, the better you can manage this condition: here are the symptoms you should never ignore.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a long-term illness where your kidneys don’t work as efficiently as they should do.

CKD becomes more common as you get older.

While CKD can sometimes be mild, in serious cases it can result in kidney failure.

Most people are able to manage their CKD, but for approximately one in 50 the condition progresses to kidney failure.

But what are the signs of CKD you should look out for?

Spotting blood in your urine should always be a cause for concern.

Although most often blood in your urine is a sign of a urinary tract infection, which can be treated fairly easily, you mustn’t ignore it.

Blood in your urine can cause your pee to look pink, dark red or even brown.

The scientific term for blood in your urine is haematuria, and while it is a symptom of Chronic Kidney Disease, it can be a sign of many other issues, from urinary tract infections to bladder cancer.

Because blood in your urine could be an indication of a potentially serious health issue, you must make an emergency GP appointment or call 111 straight away if you see blood in your wee.

However, there are some occasions when your pee changes colour, or appears ‘bloody’ but it is nothing to worry about.

Eating large amounts of beetroot can give your wee a pink tinge, while some antibiotics might change the colour of your pee, making it look dark red or brown.

If you’re on your period, it can make it seem as though there is blood in your pee.

However, unexpected bleeding between periods should be checked out.

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Blood in your urine isn’t always visible to the eye, but can be picked up in a urine test by your doctor.

Therefore, while you must never ignore the sight of blood in your urine, you should look out for other symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease too.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease include:

  • Tiredness
  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling sick

CKD tends to be symptomless until it reaches an advanced stage, so you must see your doctor if you are worried about the state of your kidneys.

If you have been diagnosed with high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol you are considered at greater risk of CKD, as these conditions put more pressure on your kidneys.

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