Our kidneys are among the most vital organs in our bodies, filtering waste, creating red blood cells, and even keeping our bones healthy and strong. You could be suffering from a life-threatening disease and be completely unaware of it.
Millions of people suffer from various kidney illnesses, and most of them are entirely unaware of it. Because of the lack of symptoms, kidney disease is sometimes referred to as the “Quiet Disease.” Most people do not realize they have it until it is pretty advanced. Furthermore, many people overlook early warning signals of renal illness, even though identifying kidney disease early might mean the difference between life and death.
People get their blood pressure observed regularly, but most don’t receive a “creatinine test” to check for undiagnosed kidney problems.
Kidney failure occurs when kidney function falls below a particular threshold. Kidney failure has a wide-ranging effect on your body and can make you feel quite poorly. Kidney failure that goes untreated can be fatal.
Warning Signs of Kidney diseases:
Because of their non-specific nature, there are various warning signs of a kidney problem that are frequently neglected or mistaken with other pathologies. As a result, one must be highly vigilant and should have confirmatory testing (including blood, urine, and imaging) performed as soon as any evidence of a kidney problem appears.
While confirmatory testing is the only way to diagnose kidney illness definitively, below are some of the early warning signs of kidney disease:
A change in urine habits is usually the most visible indicator of kidney trouble. It is necessary to maintain a close eye on one’s urine output. You may, for example, feel the need to urinate more frequently, especially at night. It could be a warning sign that the kidney filtration units have been damaged or are about to be harmed. In men, this can sometimes be an indication of urinary tract infection or an enlarged prostate.
Because urine production is a kidney function, any significant changes, such as less pee, more frequent urination, changes in color, foam, smell, pain, or blood in urine, can all suggest a kidney problem. It could be a symptom that something is wrong with your kidneys if you find yourself going to the bathroom more frequently.
Change in quality of urine:
When you flush the toilet, your urine contains bubbles that will not go away. Because the protein found in urine is albumin, which is also found in eggs, this froth resembles the foam produced when scrambling eggs.
The presence of protein in the urine is indicated by excessive concentration in the urine (which under normal circumstances should be negligible).
Protein and blood cells begin to seep out into the urine when the kidney’s filtering function has been or is compromised. Blood in the urine can suggest tumors, kidney stones, or any infection, in addition to renal disease. Additionally, pus in the urine combined with a fever or chills can be dangerous and suggest pyelonephritis (infection of the kidneys).
Blood in urine:
You should see your urologist to examine any blood in your urine, part of a standard medical examination. A typical indication of kidney illness is blood in the urine, turning your urine red or dark. Protein and blood cells will flow into your urine as a result of kidney impairment.
Annual check-ups are recommended, especially if you have any additional factors contributing to kidney disease, such as diabetes. Albuminuria (a trace of one type of protein in the urine) is an early indicator of chronic kidney disease. Proteinuria (excess albumin and other proteins in the urine) indicates renal impairment.
Pain in the lower back:
Musculoskeletal issues most commonly cause back pain; however, kidney discomfort can sometimes occur. If you feel discomfort in your side and groin area, as well as a fever or urinary symptoms, your kidneys could be the source. On each side of your spine, your kidneys are placed in the back of your belly, just under your ribcage.
Your kidneys could be causing pain in your sides or middle to upper back. However, pain in your back or sides does not always indicate that your kidneys are malfunctioning. If only one kidney is afflicted, discomfort may occur on only one side or both sides if both kidneys are impacted.
Kidney discomfort might manifest as lower back pain, pain below the rib cage, or side pain. Kidney pain can be so severe that you cannot move and may even be brought to your knees due to the severity of the pain.
Swelling in feet or leg:
The kidneys are responsible for filtering waste from the blood and excreting excess water from the body through urine. When the kidneys are not performing their functions properly, this fluid can accumulate in the body instead of being expelled.
Reduced kidney function results in salt retention, which can result in swelling in the patient’s ankles, feet, and legs. Swelling in the hands, feet, and ankles may be a symptom of kidney or heart failure and should not be discounted out of hand.
Pitting edema is a type of edema that occurs when pressure is applied to the affected area and is first noticed at these spots. As your kidney function continues to deteriorate, you will have sodium retention, which will result in swelling in your shin and ankles.
For the most part, anyone who notices new-onset pedal edema should seek emergency medical attention from a nephrologist and have their renal function evaluated immediately.
How would you know if you have kidney problems?
- You’re feeling more exhausted, have less energy, or are having difficulty concentrating.
- You’re having difficulty falling asleep.
- You have skin that is dry and irritated.
- You have a strong need to urinate more frequently.
- You notice that there is blood in your urine.
What is the best thing to drink for your kidneys?
Water is the ideal kidney drink because it gives your kidneys the fluids they need to work correctly without adding sugar, caffeine, or other harmful ingredients.
How can you differentiate between back pain and kidney pain?
Lower back problems are common. Back pain is felt higher and more profound than kidney pain. It may be felt in the upper back, not the lower. The pain is frequently felt on one or both sides, under the rib cage.
What happens when you ignore kidney diseases?
Diagnosis and management of kidney disease are critical. Lifestyle adjustments and drugs to treat high blood pressure, cholesterol, anemia, and edema can help slow the progression of renal disease and reduce consequences.