Every day our minds process tons of information, our bodies perform thousands of actions. Living in this busy world makes it very easy to miss some messages that your body sends you. And the consequences of not communicating and responding to these signals can be drastic.
Simple Life Spot made a list of signs which indicate that your kidneys are not working properly. How many of these signals have your body been sending to you?
1. Having dry and itchy skin
Healthy kidneys do tremendous work by removing waste and extra fluid from the blood, helping produce red blood cells, and maintaining the proper amount of minerals in your body. Itchy and dry skin signal the failure of kidneys to maintain the right balance of minerals and nutrients which can result in bone and kidney disease.
Warning: If you have dry and itchy skin, try to stay more hydrated. Remember, before taking any medication for itching consult your doctor. Certain medications have ingredients that potentially could damage your kidney function even more.
2. Having back pain
Kidney failure can result in back pain that is usually deep and located right below the rib cage. It can be felt in the front of the groin or hip area. Back and leg pain can be caused by kidney cysts, which are large fluid-filled sacs formed on the kidenys, and are the result of polycystic kidney disease.
Tip: Back pain caused by kidney failure is accompanied by feeling sick, vomiting, high body temperature and frequent urinating. Normal back pain that has no correlation with the kidneys behaves differently: pain is more localized and happens suddenly, there is no fever. If you keep experiencing back pain and pain relief pills are ineffective, make sure you see your doctor.
3. High blood pressure
Your circulatory system and kidneys depend on each other. The kidneys have small nephrons that filter waste and extra fluids from the blood. If the blood vessels get damaged, the nephrons that filter your blood don’t receive enough oxygen and nutrients. That’s why high blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure.
Tip: Learn to manage your high blood pressure to avoid kidney failure. Add foods rich in folic acid as it is engaged in the production of red blood cells and can help prevent anemia.
4. Changes in urination
Your kidneys are responsible for producing urine and eliminating waste through it. Changes in the frequency, odor, color and appearance of urine should not be ignored. Common types of changes include:
- Increased need to urinate, especially during the night. Anywhere between 4 to 10 timesa day is considered to be normal.
- Seeing blood in urine. Healthy kidneys filter waste from the blood to produce urine, but if the filter is damaged the blood cells might start to “leek” out into the urine.
- Having foamy urine. Bubbles in the urine especially the ones that require you to flush several times until they go away indicate that unwanted protein is in the urine.
5. Headaches, fatigue and general weakness
Healthy and properly functioning kidneys convert Vitamin D in our bodies to maintain strong bones and to produce a hormone called Erythropoietin (EPO). This hormone plays an important role in the production of red blood cells. When kidneys don’t function properly, they produce less EPO. The decline of red blood cells (those that carry oxygen) results in rapid fatigue of your muscles and brain.
Warning: It is common for people with Chronic Kidney Disease to have anemia. Anemia might start to evolve when someone has 20% to 50% of normal kidney function. If you’re getting enough rest and sleep, but continue experiencing feelings of tiredness, low energy levels and general weakness, you should visit your doctor without delay.
6. Swelling in ankles, feet and hands
Kidneys that are failing to perform properly don’t remove any extra fluid from the body. This leads to sodium retention which causes swelling in your ankles, feet and hands. Swelling of the lower parts of your body can also signal heart and liver disease or leg vein problems.
Warning: Sometimes taking medication, reducing salt and removing excess fluid in your body can stop swelling. If it doesn’t help, then you need a separate treatment.
Have you ever experienced any kidney problems? Share your experience in the comments.