March is Kidney Awareness Month
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Many people suffer from Kidney Disease and don’t realize it. Early symptoms of Kidney Disease are fairly subtle and only manifest when the disease has progressed. Much too often symptoms are mistaken for other issues. The best person to correctly diagnose kidney problems is your doctor.
Although most kidney complications cannot be cured, altering your diet can often greatly improve symptoms, and staying in close contact with your physician is important too.
Here are the 10 signs and symptoms of Kidney Disease:
1. Urination Changes
The kidneys are responsible for processing urine, so it makes sense that urine will start to change if the kidneys are failing.
- Foam like or Bubbly Urine
- Very Pale Coloration to Urine
- Very Dark Coloration to Urine
- Frequency of Urination
The kidneys are responsible for producing a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). This hormone instructs the body to produce red blood cells, which are meant to carry oxygen throughout the body. If the kidneys start to fail, they will make less EPO, which means fewer hormones are directing the body to produce the necessary amount of red blood cells. This will leave you feeling tired. Experiencing fatigue even when you seem to get enough sleep at night is one symptom that the kidneys are not producing enough hormones for your body.
3. Shortness of Breath
If you have been experiencing shortness of breath lately, it could be connected to the kidneys in two different ways.
The first possible connection is a result of the extra fluid buildup; sometimes, this extra fluid builds up in the lungs, making it more difficult to breathe. Otherwise, the shortness of breath can be a result of anemia; in this case, there are an insufficient number of red blood cells available to carry oxygen throughout the body. This leaves the brain and body starved and short of breath.
Because of the way the kidneys interact with the body and handle the process of urination, they also are largely responsible for removing the extra fluid within your body.
You may experience swelling in one or both ankles, the legs, the face, hands, as well as feet.
5. Bad Taste in Mouth
When kidneys begin to fail and cause uremia, or a buildup of waste in the body, the body may react by producing the taste of metal in your mouth or causing bad breath.
Overall, you might taste a rather poor flavor in your mouth that causes you not to taste food in the same way as you did before. In particular, this may make you less interested in eating meats.
In addition, you might start to notice some weight loss as a result of not eating. This could be due to the taste issue or you may simply not feel hungry enough to eat much. You can always take the route of writing down everything that you consume to avoid having any major weight loss issues or vitamin deficiencies that may be harmful to your health.
Healthy kidneys also take on the role of the body’s personal trash process; that is, they’re responsible for getting rid of waste in the body.
In the event of kidney problems or failure, waste won’t exit the body as efficiently as before, causing a buildup of excess waste in the bloodstream.
This is known as uremia, and it can cause feelings of nausea or make you need to vomit. It should go without saying that your body doesn’t like being filled with waste, and it attempts to purge the waste by way of vomiting.
Developing uremia as a result of kidney disease doesn’t stop with metallic taste or the need to vomit. The waste buildup in the bloodstream manifests further by causing patches of rashes on the skin and causing itchiness.
In some cases, patches of skin can break out in what appears to be acne as well. These itchy rashes can be difficult to relieve.
As previously explained, the kidneys produce the hormone EPO to signal the body’s production of red blood cells. Failing this, there are fewer blood cells, which is anemia.
Anemia comes with its own set of symptoms, the most prominent but overlooked being common cases of chills.
9. Leg Pain
One of the more characteristic symptoms of chronic kidney disease includes feeling discomfort in the back or in the legs. In some cases, the feelings of discomfort could be painful. It is also possible to experience pain as far as the upper back.
Anemia as a result of kidney disease has one more grasp on the body: It can make you dizzy and cause you to have trouble concentrating on things.
When this happens, your brain is becoming starved of the oxygen it needs to be at full power. When your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, it manifests beyond dizziness and concentration problems; you can also experience memory problems and other issues with cognitive functions.
If you are suffering from one or more of these symptoms it might be a good idea to see your physician, just to get checked out. Being proactive with your health is the best way to stay healthy.