10 Signs Of Poor Kidney Health And What You Can Do About It
The kidneys are a vital organ, working day in and day out to process toxins out of your blood. Di...
The kidneys are a vital organ, working day in and day out to process toxins out of your blood. Did you know the kidneys filter some 300 gallons of blood every day? Incredible! It's important we take care of our kidneys though, and signs of kidney disease sometimes go unnoticed because of how subtle they are.
Let's talk about the 10 symptoms.
1. Changes in urination
Your kidneys make urine, so if things are getting weird with your urine, things might be getting weird for your kidney. If your urine is bubbly, if you're getting up at night to pee, if you're peeing more, or less often, smaller amounts, larger amounts, anything like that could be considered a change.
Your kidneys remove extra fluid, and if they aren't able to do that, extra fluid will get stored in your legs, ankles, feet, face, or hands. Swelling like this can be a sign things aren't going, well, swell for your kidneys.
Healthy kidneys produce erythropoietin, or EPO, a hormone that tells your body to make red blood cells, which carry oxygen to your cells. When your kidneys begin to fail, they produce less EPO, thus fewer red blood cells, less oxygen going to your cells, and less energy.
4. Skin problems
Your kidneys remove waste and toxins from your body. When your kidneys fail, that waste can build up in your skin and cause rashes and itching.
5. Ammonia breath and metallic taste in mouth
Uremia, or a buildup of waste in the blood, can make your food tast metallic and give you bad breath. In conjunction with losing weight and a dislike of meat, this can be a clear sign of kidney failure.
6. Nausea and vomiting
As kidney disease progresses, you may find yourself feeling nauseated and vomiting. This is caused by a severe buildup of uremia.
7. Shortness of breath
Extra fluid in the body can build up in your lungs, and anemia can occur because of kidney disease. This can make catching your breath difficult.
8. Feeling cold
Anemia, a shortage of red blood cells, cause by the lack of EPO can cause coldness, even in a warm room.
9. Dizziness and trouble concentrating
The anemia caused by kidney failure can cause your brain not to receive enough oxygen, leading to dizziness and trouble concentrating, as well as memory problems.
10. Leg pain
Some people with kidney problems may experience pain in the upper back or the legs.
So, does none of this apply to you? Good. Here are some steps to take to help make sure it never does. For healthy kidneys:
- Make sure your blood pressure is healthy and on target.
- If you have diabetes, take care to control your glucose level.
- Make sure your cholesterol is on target.
- Cut back on the salt. Don't eat more than 2300 mg a day.
- Eat plenty of healthy food, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Limit alcohol intake.
- Lose weight if you're overweight.
- Quit smoking if you do.