Health for All

Early Signs and Symptoms Kidney Starts to fail

Kidney Disease

We will be discussing about the signs and symptoms of kidney disease. Kindly note the content provided here is not intended nor should it be construed as providing professional medical or nutritional advice. Kidney disease is among one of the most deadly silent killers these days. People often are not aware that they have a problem until it becomes life-threatening.  According to the National Kidney Foundation, more than 26 million people in America suffer from some kind of kidney disease. The kidneys are important for overall health for performing many important bodily functions. The kidneys also help maintain a balance of water and concentration of minerals (such as sodium potassium and phosphorus) in the blood.

Our kidney function declines with age. However there are certain factors that put you at higher risk of kidney disease. These include family history, diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity. Here are the top 10 symptoms of kidney disease that you must know:

1. Changes in urinary function

The first symptom of kidney disease is a change in your urinary function. This change could be in the amount and frequency of urine. You may be waking up a few times throughout the night to urinate.

The urge to urinate more often, but not able to do so 1 using the restroom. Urine that is darker than usual. Urine that is foamy or bubbly, or even urine that contains blood. Another change may be pain, pressure or difficulty during urinating.

2. Swelling in the body

The kidneys are responsible to remove any waste and extra liquid from the body. When this does not happen the extra fluid and water buildup causes swelling. This swelling can be in the hands, feet, ankle, joints, face, and under the eyes. You may also notice dimpling of the skin after being pressed for a few seconds.

3. Severe fatigue and weakness

When the kidneys do not function properly, there is a high chance of feeling fatigue a lot of the time. You may feel tired, exhausted or generally lack energy without any given reason. Some of the common reasons for this symptoms is accumulation of waste products in the body. Healthy kidneys make a hormone called a troponin that aids production of oxygen carrying red blood cells.  Impaired kidneys make less of this hormone that over time, leads to a decrease in the red blood cell count. Moreover, when the kidneys are not working effectively, it is more difficult for the body to rid itself of harmful toxins and substances. This can also cause a loss of appetite. This, along with excess toxins in the body, can make you less energetic.

4. Dizziness

Kidney disease can lead to anemia which can frequent dizziness, which is a feeling of lightheadedness, unsteadiness or loss of balance. This happens because anemia can prevent your brain from getting enough oxygen. Furthermore, it can also lead to memory problems, trouble concentrating and difficulty sleeping. If you happen to be going through sudden dizziness and poor concentration, make sure you take it seriously and get a medical check-up.

5. Unexplained back pain

Mysterious aches and pains in the back as well as sides of your abdomen can be symptoms of undiagnosed kidney disease or kidney infections. If your kidneys are not working properly, you may go through some pain, stiffness and fluid in the joints. Lower back and groin pain can also be caused by kidney stones in the urethra. Polycystic renal disease is an inherited kidney disorder which causes fluid-filled cysts in the kidneys can cause lower back or abdomen pain. If you suffer from intense cramping that spreads from the lower back into the groin, do ensure that you consult your doctor immediately.

6. Skin breakouts and itching

Unexpected skin breakouts, rashes, irritation and excessive itching are also considered symptoms of some types of kidney conditions. Inadequate kidney function is a contributing factor to buildup of waste products and toxins in the body leading to many skin issues. Another consequence of poor kidneys is an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in the blood, which can lead to excessive itching. If you skin is generally healthy but suddenly starts to show signs of breakouts, rashes and intense itching, do consult your doctor.

7. Ammonia breathe

Kidney disease can also cause you to have a metallic taste in your mouth or ammonia breath. This occurs because poor kidney functioning can cause an increase in the level of urea in the blood. Urea is broken down to ammonia in the saliva which can cause urine-like bad breath known as ammonia breath. It can also lead to an undesirable metallic taste in the mouth which can affect your taste buds.

8. Nausea or vomiting

These are widely known gastrointestinal symptoms among people suffering from kidney disease. Nausea and vomiting most likely occur in the morning as the kidneys are not able to filter harmful toxins out of the blood. It causes an accumulation of excessive urea nitrogen in the bloodstream. Which is what stimulates the gastrointestinal mucosa and causes nausea and vomiting. If you are still suffering from nausea and vomiting after taking medicines and necessary preventive measures, make sure you consult a doctor before the condition becomes worse.

9. Feeling cold most of the time

This is symptom of anemia, which could actually be due to kidney disease. You may start feeling cold without any known reason even in a warm environment. Sometimes, you might even get a fever with chills due to feeling cold, along with dizziness and weakness. So do consult your doctor if this occurs.

10. Shortness of breath

This can also be a sign of kidney disease. Improper kidney functioning lead to extra fluid buildup in the lungs. Anemia due to kidney problems is another reason for shortness of. Furthermore, a buildup of potassium in the blood that is not filtered out by the kidneys may cause abnormal heart rhythms.

You can find below a list of some of the best foods and herbs you can eat to prevent and cure kidney disease:

1. Apples

Apples aid in detoxifying and cleansing the kidneys as they are high in fiber and anti-inflammatory properties. They can also help prevent urinary tract infections, which can aid in reducing the risk of kidney stones. Not only that, apples are great because they help in reducing cholesterol, protecting against heart problems, decreasing your risk of cancer, and even help to prevent constipation.  Eating an apple a day can help you to keep your kidneys functioning properly. You can enjoy this crunchy and juicy fruit raw and baked desserts, or as apple sauce or juice. Research published in the Journal of the American Society suggests that a healthy diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, and nuts, low-fat dairy products and whole grains, and low in salt red meat processed meat and sweetened beverages, can help prevent kidney stones.

2. Cauliflower

This cruciferous vegetable is high in vitamin C and consists of a good amount of folate and fiber. It also consists of compounds such as indoles, glucosinolates and thiocyanates that can assist the liver to neutralize toxic substances which may otherwise harm the cell membranes and DNA. If you take cauliflower regularly, it can help reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol levels due to its antioxidant and anti-clotting properties.  You can eat cauliflower raw with a dipper, in salads, steamed, boiled, fried, roasted or baked. However, please do note that because cauliflower is high in purines that lead to the accumulation of uric acid, it may not be suitable for those suffering from gout and kidney stones.

3. Fish

Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which can decrease inflammation in the body and thus, protect the kidneys from various diseases. Moreover, fish is a good source of high quality protein. According to a 2008 study published in American Journal of Kidney Diseases, consuming of fish can assist in lowering abnormal levels of protein in urine and help people suffering from diabetes. The kinds of fish that are best for the kidneys are salmon, rainbow trout, mackerel, herring and tuna. As recommended by the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association, we should have two to three servings of fish each week. You must eat steamed baked or roasted fish instead of fried fish to reduce kidney problems.

4. Egg whites

Egg whites are recommended for people with kidney disease due to their low phosphorus content and because they are a high quality protein. High quality protein consists of an vital amino acid which is important for the kidneys to function properly. Meanwhile, when high quality protein is metabolized in the body it produces less waste product.

Egg whites can be used to make omelets or sandwiches or you can even eat hard-boiled eggs without the yolk. Do note that people with kidney problems should try to steer clear of eating egg yolks. A high intake of protein is also not recommended as it can cause extra burden on the kidneys.

6. Olive oil

It is great for your heart as well as your kidneys. Olive oil is a valuable source of oleic acid, which are anti-inflammatory fatty acids that lower oxidation and promote kidney health. Not only that, but olive oil is also very rich in polyphenols and antioxidant compounds that prevent inflammation and oxidation. Virgin and extra virgin olive oil do consist of higher amounts of antioxidants as compared to regular olive oil so we recommend you to use one of those to get the most health benefits.  Olive oil can be used to make salad dressing and also in your everyday cooking. It goes great as a dip with bread, or for marinating fish or vegetables.

So those were some signs and symptoms of kidney disease, and some ways prevent and cure kidney disease. Hope it was useful and do consult your doctor if you are facing any similar problems.

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