Kidneys are the organs that help filter waste products from the blood and excess fluid from the body. These waste products and excess fluid are removed through the urine. The kidneys are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
If the kidneys are in danger and their function is impeded, the entire health is at risk. Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, and confusion. There are numerous causes of kidney failure, and treatment of the underlying disease may be the first step in correcting the kidney abnormality.
In order to keep your body strong and healthy, it is very important to recognize the signs of kidney damage.
Swelling of hands, feet, face, legs and ankles may be a result of the inability of the kidneys to remove excess fluid from the body. Therefore, unexpected swelling in such areas could be a manifestation of kidney failure.
2. Changes in Urination
The kidneys make urine, so when the kidneys are failing, the urine may change. These are some of the symptoms:
- Feeling the need to get up at night to urinate.
- Urine may be foamy or bubbly.
- Urinating more often, or in greater amounts than usual, with pale urine.
- Urinating less often, or in smaller amounts than usual, with dark-colored urine.
- The urine may contain blood.
- Feeling pressure or have difficulty urinating.
3. Skin Rash
Kidneys remove wastes from the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, the build-up of wastes in your blood can cause severe itching. The skin becomes dry and irritated due to waste build-up in the blood. While ointment and creams can help on the surface, they can’t solve the problem of kidney damage related rashes.
The kidneys produce a hormone called EPO, or erythropoietin, which is responsible for making red blood cells and carrying oxygen. Damaged kidneys make less EPO telling the bone marrow to make new red blood cells and there’s an insufficient oxygen supply. One reason for fatigue can be anemia, a shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
5. Shortness of Breath
Kidney damage can lead to shortness of breath, which leaves the body starved of oxygen. Therefore, kidney failure is sometimes confused with asthma or heart failure, because fluid can build up in the lungs.
6. Metallic Taste in Mouth
Kidney damage may result with a feeling of metallic taste in the mouth. This is attributed to the waste accumulation in the blood. Moreover, waste build-up in the body can cause bad breath, changes in taste, or an aversion to protein foods like meat.
Damaged kidneys may result in back pain. This is so because the kidneys are located on either side of the spine in the back. Kidney infections and kidney stones are also associated with spasms and a severe pain.
8. Trouble Concentrating and Dizziness
When the kidneys are damaged, your brain is not getting enough oxygen. This can lead to memory problems, trouble with concentration, and dizziness.