As far as vital organs are concerned, it can be said that the average person knows much more about their heart, brain, lungs and stomach than they do about their kidneys. But knowing exactly what your kidneys do to keep your body healthy, and knowing the symptoms that indicate they’re not working properly, is the best way to detect kidney disease in its earliest, most treatable stages.
Because your kidneys are located in the back of your upper abdomen, they filter excess water and waste products from your blood and remove them from your body through urine.
Although these fist-shaped, bean-shaped organs are strong and efficient when healthy, they are at risk of damage, especially if they are constantly affected by uncontrolled diabetes, high blood pressure, or other conditions. It impairs kidney function.
If your kidneys become too damaged over time, they can no longer filter your blood properly. This chronic, progressive disease, known as chronic kidney disease, affects more than 30 million adults in the United States, many of whom do not know they have the disease until it is advanced or leads to kidney failure.
While this is the only way to know if you have kidney disease, how to recognize its early symptoms may be what prompts you to get tested in the first place.
Dr. W. Cooper Buschemeyer of the Stone Relief Center in Woodland, Texas, suggests the following 8 signs to look out for.
- Your energy levels have plummeted
When your kidneys are failing, your blood contains more toxins and other impurities. This toxic compound not only lowers your energy levels, but also makes it difficult to focus and makes you feel weaker and less flexible than usual.
- Your skin is noticeably dry and itchy
In addition to filtering waste products and excess fluid from the blood, the kidneys play an important role in maintaining the balance of minerals in the blood and maintaining healthy bones.
Dry, itchy skin can be a side effect of mineral and bone disorders, which are common in chronic kidney disease, when your kidneys are unable to properly balance sodium, potassium, calcium, and other important minerals in your blood.
- You need to go to the bathroom more often
If you feel the need to urinate more often than usual, you might think you have a urinary tract infection, but an increased need to go to the bathroom, especially at night, can be a sign of chronic kidney disease.
- You have blood in your urine
Although blood in your urine can be caused by a variety of health problems, from bladder cancer to kidney stones, it’s a common symptom of chronic kidney disease. Because damaged kidney filters don’t always properly separate blood cells from waste material, these “lost” blood cells accumulate in your urine.
- Your urine is often frothy
If you notice an excessive amount of foam, foam and foam in the toilet after going to the bathroom, then your urine contains a lot of protein.
Healthy kidneys remove excess fluid and waste from your blood, while also allowing proteins and other important nutrients to return to the bloodstream. A damaged kidney, on the other hand, is more likely to excrete protein in your urine.
- Your eyes always look puffy
Foamy urine is not the only symptom of proteinuria associated with kidney disease. If your kidneys excrete too much protein in your urine, you may develop persistent swelling around your eyes.
- Your limbs are swollen
Chronic swelling in your calves, ankles, or feet can be a sign of other serious conditions, such as heart disease or liver disease, but poor kidney function can also cause an imbalance of sodium in the blood, causing swelling in your hands or feet. feet.
- You pull your muscles all the time
Your kidneys help balance minerals in your blood—many of which act as electrolytes—and chronic kidney disease can lead to electrolyte imbalances that interfere with muscle function and lead to muscle stiffness.
Remember that if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure, or are over 60, your risk of developing chronic kidney disease increases.