Kidney diseases are extremely serious, although it is not rare for people to suffer from chronic problems with these vital organs. The kidneys process your blood to help regulate your blood pressure and allow it to take in oxygen while removing toxic substances. Complete kidney failure is almost always fatal, although this is usually pre-empted by a diagnosis of an ongoing kidney problem. An early diagnosis can help you look after your kidneys, but the symptoms and signs can be hard to spot and you might put them down to a completely different condition.
Diabetes and blood pressure are the most common issues that can later lead to kidney problems, so it’s important to understand and monitor these. Be aware of your family history with these kinds of conditions, and try to maintain a healthy diet with minimal salt and sugar along with getting regular exercise. If you think you are at risk you should ask your doctor for advice, but here are some signs to watch out for which not everyone realises are connected to kidney problems.
Any changes in urination could indicate kidney function is abnormal, including the frequency of your bathroom visits and the colour or consistency of your urine.
Feeling nauseous or vomiting can be a sign of your kidneys failing to filter toxins out of your blood, which then affect your digestive system.
Unusual swelling of any part of the body can be caused by excessive build-up of fluid, which is one of the likely side effects of impaired kidney function.
Losing your appetite can be associated with many problems, or it might be nothing at all, but it is also one of the indicators of a potential kidney issue if you have other symptoms.
Your kidneys aid the blood’s ability to carry oxygen by producing a hormone which helps the production of red blood cells. A decrease in the number of these cells is called anaemia, and is often accompanied by classic symptoms such as tiredness, feeling cold, dizziness and breathlessness. Any of these might be an indicator of underlying problems with your kidneys.
With kidney problems you may feel pain in the area around the kidneys i.e. your upper back, or the side of your body. If there is no other explanation for the pain this could be the reason for it.
Another side effect of the waste build-up caused by inhibited kidney function is that your skin might be dry and itchy, or you could suffer from uncomfortable rashes for no other reason.
If you think you might have noticed any of these symptoms, it’s important to ensure you get professional medical advice before taking action, but there are things you can do which are beneficial to your overall health and also contribute to better kidney condition. Other than keeping your weight under control, a healthy and balanced diet can also limit the amount of unnecessary chemicals in your body. Quitting smoking is also helpful to relieve pressure on your kidneys for the same reason.