This piece on signs of bad kidneys was inspired by Chinedu’s excellent piece two days ago about the best way to go about taking care of the kidneys. The first thought that came into my mind was, ‘About time!’ About time this sort of information is put out there. The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body. Most diseases get to us because they interfere with the function of the kidneys. The body has two kidneys. The amazing thing is, one can survive very well on just one kidney. So, the organ is so important to us nature gave each fully functional human being two. One way to look at it is that, one kidney acts as a spare organ.
But Having two kidneys doesn’t mean we can mess around. No way. The two can get damaged at the same time. There is no redundancy in the functions of the kidney you see. Both of them work equally. So it’s important to really watch how you live. And of course, you can do all the things necessary to take care of your kidneys and they still end up damaged. That is the way of the world really. Things happen no matter our best preventive measures.
But like in most things concerning the body’s health, early detection of bad kidneys can be the difference between successful treatment and disaster. Unfortunately, these early warning signs are most times ignored. Fortunately, if you pay attention, these signs are easy to spot.
Watch Your Urinating Habits
Changes in our urinating habits are usually the earliest warning signals that something is wrong with the kidneys. These are the things you should watch out for;
- The frequency of going to the loo to urinate increases. And this can occur at any time of the day. The thing to watch out for is if you start urinating at odd hours. That is, in addition to your normal times.
- If your urine contains blood, be very worried about the health of your kidneys
- The quantity and quality of your urine can be a sign too. What to watch out for is if the urine is too foamy or thick; the color of the urine has changed drastically; and the amount is either too little or too small compared to before.
- Having difficulty in pushing out the urine could also be a sign of bad kidneys. Though this could be more of a prostate problem
Swelling Around the Body
If for no reason at all, various parts of your body start swelling, that could be an indication that you have kidney problems. This is so because bad kidneys mean excess fluid cannot be removed from the body. The part of the body most affected are arms, legs, ankles, face and feet.
Fatigue Can Be Caused By Bad Kidneys
Good kidneys produce the hormone known as erythropoietin (EPO). The hormone is responsible for regulating the amount of red blood cells in the body. Basically, it tells the body when to produce these cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body used for the breakdown of carbohydrates into energy. Inadequate red blood cells leads to less energy which causes you to get tired easily.
Persistent skin rashes could also be an indication of a failing kidney. This happens as the waste products (which the kidneys are supposed to remove) accumulate in the blood stream. This causes the skin to become dry and irritable.
Using creams or ointments can alleviate the skin problem. But seeing your doctor for proper check up is best.
Loss of Appetite and Foul Tasting Tongue
This is a result of accumulated waste in the body caused by failing or bad kidneys. The first sign is the funny taste on your tongue; then foods begin to taste different leading ultimately to loss of appetite. More symptoms as a result of bad kidneys include nausea and vomiting.
When kidneys fail, the amount of oxygen carrying red blood cells to the brain reduces drastically. This affects the normal function of the brain. Finding it difficult to concentrate on simple tasks, memory loss and dizzy spells become common.
Body Pains and Aches
People with bad kidney often have body pains especially in the areas around the back close to the kidney.
When it comes to the kidneys, nothing is too good for them. You don’t want to spend the rest of your life being hooked up to a dialysis machine. The best option is to follow the prevention tips. And if for some reason, you notice problems in your body like the ones listed above, it’s best to see your physician for a thorough check.