Our kidneys are always at work, and they have numerous life-sustaining responsibilities. Their primary function is to filter and cycle blood which it does at a rate of 200 quarts every 24 hours. Our kidneys also ensure the body’s proper utilization of minerals by balancing the body’s acid, potassium, and salt levels. Other organs, including the liver, rely on the kidneys to produce and transport vital hormones.
However, many of us are living with kidney problems and don’t even know it. While the only way to know for sure if you have kidney trouble is to get tested, we’ll discuss here the 10 potential warning signs that your kidneys aren’t working correctly. If you identify with one or more of the following symptoms, please consider seeking the advice of a medical professional.
1. Exhaustion and Trouble Concentrating
A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak, and can make it hard to concentrate. Another complication of kidney disease is anemia which can cause weakness and fatigue.
2. Blood in the Urine
When the filtering apparatuses of the kidneys are damaged, blood cells may permeate into the bladder. Blood in the urine is a severe symptom and may indicate the presence of an infection, kidney stone, or tumors.
3. Trouble Sleeping
When the kidneys aren’t filtering properly, toxins stay in the blood rather than leaving the body through the urine. This can make it difficult to sleep. There is also a link between obesity and chronic kidney disease, and sleep apnea is more common in those with chronic kidney disease, compared with the general population.
4. Pain in Abdomen
As kidneys are situated in the rear of the abdominal cavity, where our digestive organs also rest, it’s challenging to differentiate kidney pain from common stomach pains. Generally, kidney pain concentrates around the edges of the abdomen and back.
5. Frequent Urination
If you feel the need to urinate more often, especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease. When the kidneys filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate. Sometimes this can also be a sign of a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men.
6. Nausea or Vomiting
Uremia or uremic syndrome is when waste products build up in the body because the kidneys are unable to eliminate them. Excess toxins must be removed from the body, which in this case, happens through vomiting. As vomiting may surface from a vast number of conditions, the best advice is to wait things out for a few days. If your symptoms worsen over time, it’s advisable to seek medical care.
7. Foamy Urine
Excessive bubbles in the urine especially those that require you to flush several times before they go away indicate protein in the urine. This foam may look like the foam you see when scrambling eggs, as the common protein found in urine, albumin, is the same protein that is found in eggs
8. Swelling or Shortness of Breath
Swelling of the legs occurs when the body can not produce enough urine. Shortness of breath is due to the erraticism of the blood’s pH levels, which places an undue burden on the respiratory system. Any illness that suppresses the respiratory system is highly precarious and should always be considered a medical emergency.
9. Persistent Puffiness Around Your Eyes
Protein in the urine is an early sign that the kidneys’ filters have been damaged, allowing the protein to leak into the urine. This puffiness around your eyes can be due to the fact that your kidneys are leaking a large amount of protein in the urine, rather than keeping it in the body.
10. Rashes or Itching
The accumulation of uric acid and waste products may produce itchy red patches on the skin. As the root cause of the symptom extends below the surface of the skin, over-the-counter (OTC) medications and other treatments are ineffective. Should such skin problems persist, seek the advice of your family doctor or dermatologist.