More than 26 million people suffer from kidney disease in the USA and most of those people don’t know it. Yes, we are healthier in the UK, but we still have around 100,000 cases. This happens so frequently because kidney disease often doesn’t show any symptoms until it is well into its late stages. If you’re at risk of kidney problems cause you have high blood pressure, diabetes, you have kidney problems in your family or you’re over 60, get tested every year, and you’ll be hunky dory. Also watch out for these signs and symptoms.
Knowledge is power: signs that you could suffer from kidney problems
Changes in your urine
If your urine has been bubbly, foamy, contains blood or you’re going to the toilet more often to have a wee or a lot less often, this may mean you’ve got kidney issues going on in your body. If you feel pressure when urinating, have difficulty going, or you’re getting up in the night to go, this may also be a sign you need to go to the doctor as soon as you can to get everything checked out.
If your ankles, legs, face or hands are swollen, your body may not be getting rid of the right amount of fluids through the urine because of your kidneys.
Healthy kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO), which tells your body to make red blood cells. If the kidney begin to fail, they don’t make as much EPO, and your muscles and brain get tired very quickly. You are essentially anemic at this point, and it’s certainly a good idea to get your kidneys looked at by a professional.
Itching or skin rashes
When all the waste isn’t washed from your body via the urine, these wastes build up and can try and get out via your skin. This produces inflammation, so watch out if you also have this symptom.
Metallic flavour in the mouth
A buildup of wastes in your blood can cause bad breath and make your food taste different. You might not even feel like eating at all. Patients report that it’s almost like drinking iron. Weight loss is also very common.
Shortness of breath
Fluid might start building up in your lungs, causing shortness of breath. The shortness of breath might also be caused by the anemia.
Are you constantly cold? If everyone else is sweating and complaining about the heat and you’re sitting there with three jumpers on, you know why!
Dizziness and trouble concentrating
Since your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen when you have kidney problems, you may find yourself feeling dizzy, forgetting things and finding it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time.
Leg or other pain
Some people do experience pain when they have kidney disease. It may appear in the upper back where the kidneys are, on one or both sides, depending on which kidney has been affected. Polycystic kidney disease can be painful, whereas infections and stones can cause very intense, spasmodic pains. People who have a medullary sponge kidney have also reported it being painful. Bladder infections also cause a burning sensation when you go to the toilet.
If you have any of these symptoms and they don’t go away quickly, go and see your doctor and explain the situation to them. It’s always best to catch kidneys disease early!