Our minds process tons of information constantly. Our bodies, in turn, perform thousands of actions. In this hectic life, we can easily miss some important messages that our body sends us. Alas, the consequences of not communicating and not responding to these signals can be fatal, says BrightSide.
In the following lines, we will present a list of signs that may tell you that you have kidney problems. Do not ignore them, and seek medical help if necessary.
- Sleep problem
If the kidneys do not work properly, the toxins cannot leave the body in the urine. On the contrary – they remain in the blood. The increased amount of toxins interferes with good sleep. For this reason, when you sleep less, you increase your chances of declining kidney function.
Caution: Quite often people who have chronic kidney disease also suffer from sleep apnea. This is a disorder that causes one or more pauses in breathing when you sleep. These pauses can last from a few seconds to a minute. After each pause, normal breathing returns with a strong snoring. The constant heavy snoring signals that it is time to consult a doctor.
- Headache, fatigue and general fatigue
To maintain healthy bones and produce the hormone erythropoietin (EPO), healthy and normally functioning kidneys convert vitamin D into our body. This hormone plays an important role in the production of red blood cells.
If the kidneys do not work properly, they produce smaller amounts of EPO. Reducing red blood cells (those that carry oxygen) leads to rapid fatigue of your muscles and brain.
Caution: It is common for people with chronic kidney disease to have anemia. Anemia can begin to develop when someone has 20% to 50% of normal kidney function. If you get enough rest and sleep, but continue to experience fatigue, low energy levels and general weakness, you should see your doctor immediately.
- Dry and itchy skin
Healthy kidneys do a great job of removing waste and extra fluid from the blood, helping to produce red blood cells and maintaining the right amount of minerals in your body.
Itchy and dry skin indicates kidney failure to maintain the right balance of minerals and nutrients that can lead to bone and kidney disease.
Caution: If you have dry and itchy skin, try to stay more hydrated. Remember to consult your doctor before taking any itching medication. Some medicines have ingredients that can potentially damage kidney function even more.
- You have bad breath and metallic taste
When waste builds up in the blood, it changes the taste of food and leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. Poor breathing is another sign that there are too many toxins and infections in the blood. In addition, you may stop wanting meat and lose your appetite altogether, which can lead to unhealthy weight loss.
Warning: There are various reasons why food can have a metallic taste (from allergies to poor oral health). Usually the metallic taste in your mouth should disappear if the reason for this is understood. If the taste persists, you should contact your doctor.
- Shortness of breath
The link between kidney disease and difficulty breathing, especially after a little effort, is due to two factors. First, extra fluid in the body moves to the lungs when the kidneys are not functioning properly. Second, anemia deprives the body of oxygen and this leads to shortness of breath.
Caution: There are various causes of shortness of breath from kidney failure, asthma and lung cancer to heart failure. If you notice that you are constantly experiencing shortness of breath after making very little effort, you should contact your doctor immediately.
- Swelling of the ankles, legs and arms
The kidneys, which fail to function properly, do not remove any extra fluid from the body. This leads to sodium retention, which causes swelling of the ankles, legs and arms. Swelling of the lower body can also signal heart and liver disease or problems with the veins in the legs.
Caution: Sometimes taking medication, reducing salt and removing excess fluid in the body can stop the swelling. If this does not help, then you need a separate treatment.
- Back pain
Renal failure can lead to back pain, which is usually deep and located just below the chest. It can be felt in the front of the groin or thighs.
Back and leg pain can be caused by kidney cysts, which are large fluid-filled sacs formed in the blood and the result of polycystic kidney disease.
Tip: Back pain caused by kidney failure is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, fever and frequent urination. N
Normal back pain, which has no correlation with the kidneys, is felt differently: the pain is more localized and occurs suddenly, there is no fever. If you continue to experience back pain and pain relief pills are ineffective, see your doctor.