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Do you have kidney disease? You may be showing symptoms.

Feeling fatigue, unable to concentrate, or in general having less energy

Kidney disease is a result of the kidneys losing their ability to function as filters for the body. This can result in toxins and impurities building up in the bloodstream, resulting in these symptoms. Kidney disease is often diagnosed in conjunction with anemia, which is a potential cause for such symptoms as well.

Trouble sleeping or difficulty staying asleep

The function of the kidneys is to act as a filter for the body. When the kidneys lose function, the toxins remain in the blood when they ought to be excreting out of the blood in the urine. This build up of toxins can make it difficult for those with the disease to fall asleep. Obesity and kidney disease are linked,  so if you are a part of this population, you ought to consider being tested as soon as possible.

Dry/Itchy Skin

Kidney failure can lead to changes in the body’s ability to produce sweat and oil, causing the skin to become dry. In addition to this, the accumulation of waste and excess phosphorus in the blood due to improper filtering can cause skin to feel itchy.

Needing to urinate more often

Polyuria, a condition where one is frequently needing to use the bathroom, is a result of the built up sugar and fluids traveling through the kidneys. Since the kidneys cannot filter as they should, you have to urinate more as a result.

Blood in urine

Blood in urine is a result of an inflammation in the kidney's filtering system. The reduced functionof the filters due to disease is what causes blood in appear in the urine.

Urine is "foamy"

Urine that appears “foamy” is a sign that there is protein in the urine, which is not normal. Kidneys that are not properly filtering proteins into the bloodstream is a cause for concern, of which one should see a nephrologist immediately.

Puffy eyes

When the kidneys leak a large amount of protein in the urine, this can result in puffiness around the eyes. Puffiness in eyes is the result of the accumulation of toxins from impaired kidney function.

Swollen feet/ankles

This is a sign of water and salt retention because of the inability of kidneys to function properly. This leads to fluid buildup and swelling.

Poor appetite

Those with kidney disease may experience low appetite due to uremia, inflammation in the kidneys, and excess waste in the body.

Cramping muscles

Impaired kidney function causes metabolic waste to accumulate in higher levels in the bloodstream resulting in damage to the muscle and nerves. This results in muscle cramping and pain. There can also be a “pins and needles” sensation in arms and legs. It can even lead to loss of feeling in certain areas of the body.

If you are older (greater than 60 years old), are at high risk due to high blood pressure and diabetes or have a family history of kidney disease, you should be getting tested for the disease annually.

Rachel Kreit

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