Our kidneys are the essence of our livelihood, filtering 10-150 quarts of blood each day. With that being said, these organs are the central detoxification organs in our body, therefore, it is highly important to be able to decipher between the signs of damage or failure.
Located beneath the rib cage, our kidneys remove excessive waste and fluids from the body while also regulating our electrolyte levels. In turn, our blood pressure, as well as the production of red blood cells are also maintained correctly, and our bones kept strong and healthy.
These are the signs of damage or failure that are important to look out for:
Although urination changes can be common as the amount of liquid we take in changes daily, it is important to look for these particular signs so that you can be proactive in noticing kidney damage.
-Pale urine, or frequent urges to urinate, and in larger amounts
-Frequent Night Urges for Urination
-Pressure During Urination
If the function of our kidneys is decreased or destroyed, it impedes the body’s ability to eliminate excess fluids, which leads to swelling, or bloating of the face, limbs, and joints.
Metallic Taste In the Mouth
Since the kidneys eliminate waste from the body and blood, if the loss of proper function occurs it can cause a metallic taste in the mouth which will affect how food tastes, as well as the scent in our breath. This can also cause weight loss due to loss of appetite.
Feeling Tired and Fatigued
Healthy kidneys produce EPO (erythropoietin), a hormone that produces red blood cells needed for oxygen in the body. If this count is lowered, you will feel tired, and experience brain/muscle damage. This can also be a symptom if anemia.
Experiencing pain in the area directly beneath the rib cage in the upper back region where the kidneys are located can be a sign of kidney infection, inflammation, stones or damage.
Shortness of Breath
As kidney damage causes an oxygen deficiency in the body due to lowered amounts of red blood cells, it can cause shortness of breath. Kidney damage can also cause extra fluid to build up in the lungs, as it loses its ability to eliminate the excess, which can contribute to breathing issues.
Loss of Concentration and Dizziness
Deficiencies of oxygen in the brain due to loss of red blood cells needed for oxygen production will, in turn, cause a decrease in cognitive function. Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or having poor concentration or memory loss are all signs of kidney damage or failure.
As waste accumulates in the blood, you will notice an unhealthy appearance of the skin. The skin will become irritated and dry. Itchiness and rashes are signs of this particular issue that can be experienced with kidney damage/failure. Various creams and lotions can help to alleviate this, however, the true issue is an internal one and that should be the main focus of treatment.
In conclusion, our kidneys are truly vital organs for proper health and overall body function. By making sure that we consume well-balanced anti-oxidant packed diets, supplements, and plenty of water, you can stay proactive in protecting the function of these organs that we depend on so much. If you experience any of these issues, it is of the utmost importance that you speak with your trusted family physician and work towards healthier kidney function immediately.