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1 In 10 People With Chronic Kidney Disease Don’t Know They Have It, Here’s The Signs To Check

1 In 10 People With Chronic Kidney Disease Don’t Know They Have It, Here’s The Signs To Check

Kidney disease affects many people. The kidneys are responsible for providing the body with its functions of filtering waste and fluid in the blood that are there in excess. When the kidneys fail, the body becomes backed up with waste and filled with toxins. It is not easy to spot, but there are some early signs that you need to pay attention to. The most important thing to do if you have any of the following signs or symptoms is to see your doctor and get tested.

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    Signs Of Chronic Kidney Disease

    Changes in Urination: Urine is produced in the kidneys. If the kidneys are failing, urine production may change. Changes in urine can include:

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    • Frequent urination, or greater amounts of urine than normal
    • Urine may be foamy
    • You get up at night to urinate more than once
    • Urinating less often, or in smaller amounts than usual
    • Appearance of urine is dark-colored, or blood-tinged
    • You feel pressure or have difficulty urinating

    Swelling: Kidneys also help remove excess fluid in the body. When kidneys are failing, fluid can build up in your body. Watch for signs of fluid retention that can show up in the body as swelling in your feet, ankles, hands, and face.

    Fatigue: Normal kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin, or EPO, that helps your body create oxygen-carrying red blood cells. When your kidneys fail, they make less EPO. With decreased red blood cells carrying oxygen, your brain and body tire very quickly. You can also develop anemia, an iron-deficiency. Watch for signs of fatigue, such as feeling tired even after a good sleep, sleeping a lot, and having no energy.

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    Skin Rash/Itching: Kidneys also work to remove waste from the bloodstream. They also make red blood cells that keep your bones strong and maintain the minerals in your blood. Failing kidneys can cause a buildup of waste in your blood and decrease the number of minerals and nutrients in your blood that can cause dry skin, rashes, and itching.

    Metallic Taste in Mouth/Ammonia Breath: Waste building up in the blood can make food taste differently and cause bad breath. You may also notice a distaste for meat. You can also lose weight because you may lose your appetite.

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    Shortness of Breath: Extra fluid buildup in your lungs from non-functioning kidneys can lead to shortness of breath. Anemia an also leave you starved of oxygen, making it harder to catch your breath.

    Feeling Cold: As explained previously, the kidneys produce the hormone EPO to signal the body’s production of red blood cells. When there are fewer red blood cells created, you can become anemic. Anemia comes with its own set of symptoms, such as fatigue, but if you feel cold, even inside of a warm room, you could be experiencing anemia with chills.

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    Dizziness and Trouble Concentrating: Dizziness and trouble concentrating can be a result of kidney-related anemia. When your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can lead to memory problems, dizziness, and trouble with concentration.

    Flank Pain: Many of the common causes of Chronic kidney disease do not cause any pain, but some people do experience pain in the upper back (where the kidneys are located). Polycystic kidney disease (PKD), large fluid-filled cysts on the kidneys or liver can cause pain in the upper back. Kidney infections and bladder infections can cause severe pain and burning when you urinate. Kidney stones can cause severe pain and spasms, and passing a kidney stone has been compared to child birth by some.

    Leg cramps: Leg cramps are a common indicator of kidney disease. Cramps are caused by an imbalance of fluid and electrolytes, or by nerve damage and blood flow problems.

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      What To Do If You Experience These Signs

      • See a physician. Although it is probably likely that you are having kidney problems, it might not be as severe as chronic kidney disease. Seeing your doctor as soon as possible narrows down what you might be suffering from. If your doctor finds that you do have kidney disease, they can get you put on a treatment immediately and you can follow the remaining tips to help improve your quality of life.
      • Eat a healthy diet. Studies show that eating fresh vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, and switching to foods with less saturated fat, starches, and sweets may help slow CKD. Ask your doctor about a low-protein diet as well.
      • Control blood sugar levels. Control of blood sugar can help slow the progression of kidney disease.
      • Don’t smoke. If you do, quit. Smoking is linked to the amount of protein spilled in the urine in people with CKD. In smokers that have diabetes as well, CKD may progress twice as fast.
      • Avoid certain medications. Medications that contain ibuprofen, or naproxen, and acetaminophen can affect kidney function. Avoid using a combination of these medications with caffeine, as further damage to your kidneys can be done.
      • Get moving. Always check with your doctor first, but starting an exercise program to control your weight can keep your heart, blood vessels, muscles, and joints in healthy shape.

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      Melissa Atkinson

      Freelance writer

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      Last Updated on December 2, 2018

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

      Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

      The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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      The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

      Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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      Review Your Past Flow

      Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

      Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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      Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

      Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

      Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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      Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

      Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

      We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

      Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

        Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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