Shockingly, more than thirty million Americans have kidney disease, but what’s even more shocking is that most of them don’t know it.
We live in a very busy world where we get lost in small or big endless daily circles, aka routine, which makes it incredibly easy to neglect what your body is trying to tell you.
This is dangerous because the lack of communication, as well as response, to the signals your body sends you can have drastic consequences on your health and well being.
#10 – Trouble sleeping
Malfunctioning kidneys mean that toxins remain in the blood instead of exiting the body via urine. When the toxins accumulate, it becomes hard to fall asleep. So, not getting enough sleep, you actually help increase your risk of kidney function decline.
People who have chronic kidney disease suffer from sleep apnea more frequently. What’s sleep apnea? It’s having one or more pauses in your breath when sleeping.
These pauses can last up to one minute, and after every pause, the breathing gets back to normal with a loud snort. Keep in mind that constant heavy snoring indicates it’s time for a visit to the doctor.
#9 – Fatigue, headaches, and general weakness
Healthy kidneys use Vitamin D to keep your bones strong as well as to create Erythropoietin (EPO), an important hormone in the production of red blood cells. When there’s something wrong with the kidneys, they don’t generate enough EPO, causing a decline of red blood cells, and resulting in rapid fatigue.
In fact, people with chronic kidney disease commonly suffer from anemia. If you feel tired, weak, and less energetic even though you’re getting enough sleep and rest, you should definitely see a doctor soon.
#8 – Dry and itchy skin
If you’re having a dry and itchy skin, it means the kidneys are failing to keep the perfect balance of nutrients and minerals. This may lead to bone and kidney disease.
To treat or prevent having dry and itchy skin, you need to keep your body hydrated. Remember to consult your healthcare professional before taking any skin medication.
#7 – Bad breath and metallic taste
It should be noted that a metallic taste can have many different causes, including allergies and poor oral health. The metallic taste should normally go away as soon as the cause is treated, but in case it’s persistent, a visit to the doctor would be necessary.
#6 – Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is linked to kidney disease. How? First, any additional liquid in the body travels to the lungs when kidneys are malfunctioning, and second, anemia strips your body of oxygen, leading to shortness of breath.
In fact, there are multiple causes of shortness of breath, varying from heart failure to lung cancer. If you’re out of breath every time you make a little effort, you need to contact your doctor right away.
#5 – Swollen feet, ankles, and hands
Kidneys that fail to work properly lose the incredible ability to eliminate any extra fluid from the body. As a result, sodium is retained in the body, causing swelling in hands, feet, and ankles.
Besides a kidney problem, swelling of the lower body parts can also indicate leg vein issues or liver and heart disease.
Treatments of swelling may include taking medication or simply reducing salt in your diet. Make sure to discuss the right one for you with your physician.
#4 – Back pain
Kidney problems can result in severe back pain that is usually located below the rib cage. Also, in case of polycystic kidney disease, kidney cysts can cause back and leg pain. How to know that back pain is actually caused by kidney failure?
When the pain is accompanied by frequent urinating, fever, vomiting, and a general feeling of sickness, unlike the case of normal back pain. If the pain won’t go away and painkillers are ineffective, visit your doctor soon.
#3 – Puffy eyes
The onset of protein in the urine can result in eye puffiness. This is an early sign that the filter system of your kidneys is damaged, leaking so much protein into urine instead of preserving and using it inside the body.
If the eye puffiness is persistent even though you have enough protein and sleep, make sure to visit a doctor.
#2 – High blood pressure
There is a solid relationship between your kidneys and circulatory system. The kidneys contain small nephrons that serve as filters to keep the blood clean. When the blood vessels are damaged, those don’t get enough oxygen and nutrients.
This is the reason why high blood pressure is one of the primary causes of kidney failure. To avoid kidney failure, you should learn to manage your high blood pressure, for example, by eating foods high in folic acid.
#1 – Changes in urination
Healthy urine means healthy kidneys. So, you should never ignore any changes in color, odor, and frequency of urine. Some of the most common types of urine changes are:
– Foamy urine: bubbly urine indicates the presence of too much protein in it, especially if it requires multiples flushes to go away.
– Blood in urine: when the kidneys’ filter is damaged, the blood cells may leak out into the urine.
– Increased urination: visiting the toilet more frequently, especially at night, is not a good sign at all. Normally, 4 to 10 times a day is good.
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