Kidneys are one of the most important organs in our body. They are responsible for filtering waste and excess fluid from the blood and regulating blood pressure. However, when kidneys are not functioning properly, it can lead to kidney disease which can have serious consequences if not treated in time.
It’s important to recognize the signs of kidney disease early on to prevent irreversible damage. In this article, we will go over the top 12 signs of kidney disease that you should be aware of.
Change in urinary function
The first sign of kidney disease is a change in the amount and frequency of urination. You may notice a dramatic increase or decrease in the amount of urine you pass. You may also notice your urine changing to a darker color. If you sense a change in your urinary function, it’s best to start paying attention and making notes of your daily visits to the washroom.
Difficulty or pain while urinating
If you have difficulty or feel pressure or pain while you’re trying to empty your bladder, this could mean that you’ve developed a urinary tract infection. It’s best to catch it early because it has the potential to spread to your kidneys.
Blood in your urine
Blood in the urine is a direct symptom of kidney disease. You need to visit your doctor immediately if this symptom is surfaced because blood in the urine could also be associated with several bladder cancers.
All of the excess waste and fluids in your body are removed by your kidneys. When they can no longer do that, this waste and extra fluids build up in your body. When this occurs, the person will be experiencing swelling in the feet, ankles, puffiness in the face, and tightness in their hands.
Swelling or edema
When the bladder and the kidneys are so connected, the bladder is the first to be affected if the kidneys are failing. Swelling or edema can occur due to the buildup of excess fluids and waste in your body.
When your kidneys are functioning properly, they produce a hormone called erythropoietin which helps red blood cells carry oxygen. When your kidneys malfunction, the levels of this hormone drop drastically. This sudden drop in red blood cells causes your body to become weak and fatigued.
Dizziness and inability to concentrate
When your kidneys are causing you to become fatigued, this lack of oxygen also affects the brain. This may cause you to become dizzy and find it difficult to concentrate as well. This is because when your brain is lacking oxygen, it functions slower.
Feeling constantly cold
When your body becomes anemic, which can be caused by kidney disease, it can also cause you to become cold in areas that are warm. Pyelonephritis, which is a kidney infection, can also cause fever and chills.
Skin rashes and itching
This symptom can often be commonly confused with other conditions such as allergies, but the rashes could be a symptom of kidney disease and failure. What causes this is renal failure which also causes a waste buildup in your blood. This is what causes severe itching and skin rashes.
Ammonia breath and metallic taste
Kidney failure increases the level of urea in the blood. When this occurs, the urea is broken down into ammonia in the saliva which causes urine-like bad breath called ammonia breath. Nausea and vomiting can also occur due to the buildup of waste products that need to leave the body.
Shortness of breath
If the kidney diseases become severe enough, it can cause a buildup of fluid in the lungs, which can leave you with a feeling of breathlessness. In relation, your body suffers from anemia, another kidney disease, which can starve your body of oxygen.
It’s important to remember that if you have any of these symptoms it does not necessarily mean that you have kidney damage many of these symptoms are part of other diseases and infections but they are worth looking into and consulting your doctor about if you experience them they can save your kidneys.