The numbers point towards more than 30 million adults in the United States living with kidney disease. Sometimes this is attributed to related diseases and not mainly a kidney illness per se, and what is more worrying is that people do not find out until the symptoms are bad enough for them to be unable to ignore them any longer. When it comes to the kidneys, as it is the case with many diseases, early detection is the key to effective treatment but when only 10% of those suffering from kidney disease are aware of it, the odds are not on our favor as a society. One out of three Americans are at high risk for kidney disease, so while this is an illness that presents such mild symptoms at its early stages, it is important to be able to understand the first signs and symptoms and get checked as soon as possible by your doctor.
Today, here at Joe Cosgrove’s blog we want to talk about some of the earliest signs that you may be suffering from kidney disease or any kidney related problems so you can take charge of your health, consult your physician and take all the necessary steps in order to prevent, slow down or completely stop your body from developing a full-blown debilitating disease and enhance your quality of life and that of your family as well.
Tiredness and lack of energy
Many of the symptoms related to kidney failure have to do with what happens to the body when these important organs aren’t able to perform their functions and filter toxins out of the body. The buildup can cause you to feel tired and without energy because of the impurities in your blood and possible anemia-related symptoms.
History of kidney disease in the family
Hereditary conditions play a big part in kidney disease prevention and early detection. Kidney problems do run in the family and if a family member was previously diagnosed, then this is a sign for you to seriously considering getting yourself tested, especially if you present any of the other symptoms we are mentioning here today.
Trouble concentrating and thinking clearly
As we mentioned earlier, anemia that is related to kidney failure could mean that your brain is not getting enough oxygenated blood and this condition can lead to memory problems and the inability to concentrate. It is not uncommon for patients to become forgetful or have trouble performing tasks that were customary before. Reading may be difficult or prolonged mental activity. If you notice any of this, it may be time to get tested.
Need to urinate more often, and/or irregular urination signs
Urination presents some of the most compelling evidence that there is something wrong with your kidneys. Sometimes patients feel a strong urge to urinate but without any results, or on the contrary, they go without being able to do so for long periods of time. Irregular urine is also quite common; things like foam, blood or abnormal coloration are signs that there is something wrong happening with the kidneys. These signs are indicators that there is excess protein in the urine or that damage from the kidneys is filtering out and being expelled from the body.
Puffiness around the eyes or swelling in general
Kidney damage can lead to sodium retention, something that causes the body to store more fluids than necessary and this will become evident when you see puffiness around the eyes or swelling in articulations like ankles and wrists. If the swelling is present only in the lower extremities then that may be a sign of heart diseases or liver-related illnesses as well.
Toxin buildup in the body can also lead to decrease appetite. Patients do not feel hungry in spite of not eating for hours because reduce kidney function simply prevents the body from feeling hungry.
Muscle cramps are also quite common due to electrolyte imbalances and things like low calcium levels or phosphorous levels that aren’t being properly regulated. Impaired kidney function doesn’t oxygenate muscles properly and hence the cramps and pains.
Getting tested is the best thing you can do if you have at least one or two of these symptoms. Testing is easy and fast and it can save you a lot of trouble in the long run. There are two tests that can give you a lot of information about your kidneys and they are the ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (glomerular filtration rate). Both of these tests can check the levels of protein and some waste products found in your blood that can tell you if there is already some type of kidney failure and just how severe it is. The best way to be proactive about your condition is to take charge and to be informed of the state of your own health.
* Featured Image courtesy of Negative Space at Pexels.com