The kidney is an important organ in the human body which helps in regulating bodily functions like maintaining blood pressure, removing toxic wastes, producing red blood cells, maintaining acid and base balance and controlling fluid and electrolyte. This means that any harmful effect on the kidney can lead to decline in this functions. Kidney problems accompanies chronic conditions like obesity, heart failure, kidney failure and diabetic complications. The kidney can be salvaged if efforts to prevent further damage is aborted. You can be at risk of kidney disease if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure or if you’re older than age 60. It’s important to get tested annually for kidney disease. Here are common signs of kidney problems you must watch out for.
- Frequent rise in blood pressure: This is found common among both young and old individuals. A rise in blood pressure can be due to a whole lot of factors like:
- Certain medications
- Hormonal change
- Poor diet
- Poor sleep
- Chronic conditions e.g. Diabetes, heart failure
However, it is important to take note of constant or progressive increase in blood pressure as it can have an overall effect on the kidney
- Constant tiredness/weakness: A severe decrease in kidney function caused by accumulation of toxic wastes in the bloodstream can lead to extreme muscle weakness and tiredness. This affects one’s level of concentration and overall performance.
- Sleeplessness: Loss of sleep is an indicator that something is wrong. It can be very frustrating as it can be associated with restlessness which follows the presence of toxins in the blood. These toxins prevents an individual from achieving a healthy nap and rest.
- Frequent urination: If you feel the need to urinate more often especially at night, this can be a sign of kidney disease. When the kidneys filters are damaged, it can cause an increase in the urge to urinate. Sometimes this can also be a sign of a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men.
- Blood in urine: Healthy kidneys keep blood cells away from the body and allow passage of excess water and other toxic metabolites in form of urine. If blood is seen in urine, it is an indication of problems with the kidney filters which causes blood cells to leak into the urine. It is very important to observe your urine closely for abnormalities like blood, pus and foam.
- Poor appetite: This is caused by the buildup of toxic wastes in the blood stream. This prevents an individual from eating which can progressively lead to increased weight loss after a period of time.
- Swollen feet and ankles: Decreased kidney function can lead to increased sodium retention in the joints especially at the feet and ankles. Loss of albumin which maintain the osmotic pressure can lead to pedal swelling or oedema. Swelling in the lower extremities can also be a sign of heart disease, liver disease and chronic leg vein problems.
- Puffy eyes: Just as swollen extremity is a sign of damaged kidney filters likewise puffiness around your eyes can be a sign of protein leaking out in the urine. This is seen as a likely indicator of kidney problem.
- Foamy urine: This is another close indicator of kidney problems as it specifies the presence of protein the urine. Excessive foamy urine requires you to flush and flush, it is more like the look of squabbled eggs in a bowl. if you notice this, it is important to see a doctor as soon as you can.
- Lower back pain: this is the first sign that accompanies a urinary infection felt at the lower back where the kidney is located. This pain is also accompanied by other symptoms like: warm to touch skin, redness, extreme weakness and headache. Analgesics and non-steroidal inflammatory medication can be used to relieve pain till infection id treated.