Kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body. They are responsible for filtering 120-150 quarts of blood daily, and keep the body running stable while preventing fluid retention and waste accumulation in the body. They also keep the electrolyte levels stable, the bones strong, regulate blood pressure and stimulate production of red blood cells.
When your kidneys are damaged, your health is in immediate danger. Here’s how to recognize the common signs of kidney damage:
As they are responsible for removing excess fluid from the body, damaged kidneys can cause swelling in your feet, legs, ankles and face. Unexpected swelling is also a sign of kidney damage.
- Changes in urination
Urination changes are the earliest sign of kidney damage. Here’s what symptoms you should look out for:
- Difficulty and pressure when urinating;
- Bloody urine;
- Dark colored urine in small amounts;
- Pale urine in large amounts;
- Bubbly or foamy urine;
- Frequent urge to urinate overnight.
- Skin rash
The waste accumulation that occurs when your kidneys are damaged can lead to skin rashes and itching. Some ointments and creams may be able to help, but they will only treat the symptoms, not the underlying issue.
Erythropoietin (EPO) is a hormone produced by healthy kidneys which is part of the process of creation of red blood cells. When the kidneys are damaged, fewer red blood cells carry oxygen through the body, resulting in fatigue and anemia.
- Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is another sign of kidney damage. It is caused by oxygen deprivation of the body due to the shortage of oxygen-carrying red blood cells or by toxin accumulation in the lungs.
- Metallic taste in the mouth
Kidney damage and the subsequent waste accumulation in the blood can make your food taste strange and can also be responsible for bad breath. If you notice these symptoms or sudden loss of appetite, you should check your kidneys.
Pain in the upper back or on the side of a damaged kidney can be a sign of kidney damage caused by kidney stones or an infection.
- Trouble concentrating and dizziness
If the brain doesn’t get proper amount of oxygen due to kidney damage, you can expect trouble with concentration, dizziness as well as memory loss.