Did you know that more than 37 million American adults are suffering from kidney diseases including kidney failure, and most don’t even know about it? Yes, that’s true. Look at signs of kidney disease.
According to experts, there are several physical signs and kidney disease symptoms that most of us tend to overlook and may attribute to other health conditions. Besides, those with kidney diseases and kidney failure don’t experience any physical symptoms till the very last stages when the kidneys start failing.
This is one of the reasons why only 10 percent of people with chronic kidney diseases know that they have it. Thus, if you’re at risk for kidney disease due to high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure, or if you’re older than age 60, you need to get tested annually for any kidney disease or complication.
In today’s article, we have covered everything you need to know about kidney diseases and kidney failure, including signs of kidney disease, causes, and types of kidney failure. Read on to know more!
What is kidney failure?
The kidneys are a pair of organs that are located towards the lower back. Every person has one kidney on each side of the spine. Kidneys serve the function of filtering blood and removing toxins from the body. Kidneys collect and send toxins to the bladder, which is later removed from the body in the form of urine.
Kidney failure occurs when kidneys lose the function of filtering waste and toxins from the blood. Several factors can interfere with normal kidney health and function, including:
- Kidney trauma
- Severe dehydration
- Toxic exposure to certain environmental pollutants or certain medications
- Acute and chronic diseases
If your kidneys fail and cannot do their job, the body becomes overloaded with harmful toxins. This can lead to kidney failure and be life-threatening if not treated on time.
Thus, it is important to look out for the signs of kidney disease and kidney disease symptoms. If you are at risk for developing kidney disease, you should go for annual checkups and mention every symptom you are experiencing to your medical practitioner.
Kidney disease causes
Before we get into the signs of kidney disease, let us explore the causes first.
As we said, kidney disease or kidney failure can be the result of many causes and complications. Typically, the causes determine the type and severity of kidney disease and kidney failure.
Those who are at most risks of developing a kidney disease have one or more of the following causes:
- Sudden loss of blood flow to the kidneys
Sudden and drastic loss of blood flow to your kidneys can trigger kidney failure. The causes responsible for that are:
- A severe allergic reaction
- A severe infection like sepsis
- Heart disease
- A heart attack
- Liver failure or scarring of the liver tissue
- A severe burn
- High blood pressure
- Anti-inflammatory medication side effects
- Urine elimination problems
When the body fails to eliminate urine, toxins can build up in the kidney and overload it. Some cancers can block the passageway to urine, including:
- Bladder cancer
- Colon cancer
- Prostate cancer (the most common type of cancer in men)
Other conditions that can interfere with urine flow and lead to kidney failure are:
- An enlarged prostate
- Kidney stones
- Blood clots in the urinary tract
- Damage to the nerves that control the bladder.
These are some of the most common causes of kidney diseases and kidney failures. Other causes include infection, drug and alcohol abuse, multiple myeloma, chemotherapy drugs, etc.
Also, read Diabetic Ulcer: Causes And Treatment
10 Signs of kidney disease
The most common signs of kidney disease include:
- You feel the need to urinate more often: When the kidney’s filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate. However, this can also be the sign of an enlarged prostate or urinary tract infection.
- You see blood in your urine: If the kidney’s filters are damaged for whatever reason, blood cells can start to “leak” out into the urine.
- You have trouble sleeping: This is one of the most overlooked signs of kidney disease. When the kidney filters aren’t working properly, the toxins can stay in the bloodstream and this can cause difficulty in sleeping.
- Your urine is foamy: Excessive bubbles in the urine or foamy urine indicate the presence of protein in the urine. This is one of the leading signs of kidney disease.
- Your eyes are always puffy: This is one of those signs of kidney disease that can be attributed to aging. However, the puffiness around the eyes is an indicator of too much protein in your urine and ultimately, kidney disease of kidney failure.
- You have dry and itchy skin. Healthy kidneys serve many important functions. They are responsible for removing wastes and extra fluid from your body, they help make red blood cells, keep your bones strong. Besides, they also work to maintain the right amount of minerals in your blood. Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often accompanies the advanced or final stages of kidney disease. This happens when the kidneys fail to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.
- You are always fatigued and have trouble concentrating: One of the leading kidney disease symptoms is feeling fatigued all the time. The toxins buildup due to kidney failure can make people feel weak, fatigued, and tired all the time. This is a complication of kidney disease known as anemia, which causes weakness.
- Your ankles and feet are swollen: Kidney failure can lead to sodium retention which can cause ankles and feet.
- You have a decreased appetite: This is one of the most common signs of kidney disease.
- Your muscles are cramping: Electrolyte imbalances in the blood can result from an impaired kidney function. This can lead to cramping in muscles.
These were all the signs of kidney disease that you need to know about. There are steps you can take to prevent the risk of kidney failure. These steps include following your doctor’s advice, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and going for annual checkups.