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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 October 13, 2020

      How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

      How to Spot a Burnout And Overcome It Fast

      Burnout at work is an issue that most people who suffer from it, suffer unknowingly.

      Have you ever felt that you can’t start an assignment, have an immense urge to Netflix binge, or couldn’t get yourself to wake up on time even though you have a lot on your plate? The cause for these might be burnout.

      According to Deloitte’s report, “many companies may not be doing enough to minimize burnout.” This is to say that the responsibility is not only on the employee. According to that report, nearly 70 percent of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout within their organization, and they definitely should.[1]

      Too many companies don’t invest enough in creating a positive environment. One out of five (21%) said that their company does not offer any programs or initiatives to prevent or alleviate burnout. It is the culture, not the fancy well-being programs that would probably do the best work.

      This is a significant problem for individuals and companies, and it’s also an issue on a macro level. A Stanford University research found that more than 120,000 deaths per year, and approximately 5%–8% of annual healthcare costs, are associated with the way U.S. companies manage their workforces.[2]

      It is both the employee and the employer’s responsibility—and the latter can certainly take more responsibility.

      In this article, I’ll guide you on how to know if you suffer from burnout and, more importantly, what you can do about it.

      Who Are Prone to Burning Out?

      For starters, it is a good thing to know that you’re in good company. According to a Gallup poll, 23% (of 7,500 surveyed) expressed burnout more often than not. Additionally, 44% felt it sometimes. Nearly 50% of social entrepreneurs who attended the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in 2018 reported having struggled with burnout and depression at some point.[3]

      According to Statista (2017), 13% of adults reported having problems unwinding in the evenings and weekends. According to a Deloitte survey (consisting of 1,000 full-time U.S. employees), 77% of respondents said that they have experienced employee burnout at their current job.[4]

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      Burnout is not only an issue of the spoiled first-world. Rather, it is a serious matter that must be taken care of appropriately. It affects so many people, and its impacts are just too significant to be ignored.

      Some occupations are more prone to burnout, such as people who deeply care about their jobs more than others. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Passion-driven and caregiving roles such as doctors and nurses are some of the most susceptible to burnout.”

      The consequences can have life or death ramifications as “suicide rates among caregivers are dramatically higher than that of the general public—40% higher for men and 130% higher for women”. It is also the case for teachers, non-profit workers, and leaders of all kinds.[5]

      Deloitte’s survey also found that 91% say that they have an unmanageable amount of stress or frustration. Heck, 83% even say that it can negatively impact their relationships. Millennials are slightly more impacted by burnout (84% of Gen Y vs. 77% in other generations).

      What Is Burnout Syndrome?

      So, what is it, exactly? Burnout was officially included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and is an occupational phenomenon.

      According to the World Health Organization, burnout includes three dimensions:[6]

      1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
      2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job;
      3. Reduced professional efficacy.

      The 5 Stages of Burnout

      At this point, you must have a clue if you’re at risk of burnout. There are different methods for understanding where you are on the burnout syndrome scale, and one of the most common ones is the “five stages method.”

      1. Honeymoon Phase

      As you may remember If you’ve gotten married, there’s always the honeymoon phase. You’re so happy and feel almost invincible. You love your spouse and at this stage, you’re very excited about everything. It’s the same when it comes to taking on a new job or role or starting a new business.

      At first, most of the time, you’re hyper-motivated. Although you might be able to notice signs of potential future burnout, in most cases, you might ignore them. You’re highly productive, super motivated, creative, and accept (and take) responsibility.

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      The honeymoon phase is critical because if you plant the seeds of good mental health and coping strategies, you can stay at this phase for extended periods.

      2. Onset of Stress

      Let’s continue with the wedding metaphor. Now that you’re happily married for some time, you might start noticing certain issues with your spouse that you don’t like. You might have seen them before, but now they take up more space in your life.

      You might be less optimistic and feel signs of stress or minor symptoms of physical or emotional fatigue at work. Your productivity reduces, and you think that your motivation is lower.

      3. Chronic Stress

      Let’s hope you don’t get there in your marriage, but unfortunately, some people get there. At this stage, your stress level is consistently high, and the other symptoms of stage 2 persist.

      At this point, you start missing deadlines, your sleep quality is low, and you’re resentful and cynical. Your caffeine consumption might be higher, and you’re increasingly unsatisfied.

      4. Burnout

      This is the point where you can’t go on unless there is a significant change in your workspace environment. You have a strong desire to move to another place, and clinical intervention is sometimes required.

      You feel neglected, your physical symptoms are increasing, and you get to a place where your stomach hurts daily. You might obsess over problems in your life or work and, generally speaking, you should treat yourself.

      5. Habitual Burnout

      This is the phase in which burnout is embedded in your life. You might experience chest pains or difficulty breathing, outbursts of anger or apathy, and physical symptoms of chronic fatigue.

      The Causes of Burnout

      So, now that we know how to identify our stage of burnout, we can move on to tackling its leading causes. According to the Gallup survey, the top burnout reasons are:[7]

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      1. Getting unfair treatment at work – This is not always something that you can fully control. At the same time, you should remember that even if you’re not calling the shots, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept unfair treatment. The consequences mentioned above are just not worth it in most cases.
      2. Workload – Another leading cause of stress according to dozens of interviews conducted before writing the article. According to Statista, in 2017, 39% of workers said a heavy workload was their leading cause of stress. We live in a busy work environment, and we will share some tips on how to manage that.
      3. Not knowing your role – While not something you can fully control, you can, and probably should, take action to better define it with your boss.
      4. Inadequate communication and support from your manager – Like the others above, you can’t fully control that, but as we’ll soon share, you can take action to be in better control.
      5. Time pressure – As mentioned, motivated, passionate workers are more in danger of experiencing burnout. One of the reasons is that they’re pressuring themselves to do more, sometimes at the expense of their mental health. We’ll address how to work on that as well.

      How to Overcome a Burnout

      After going over the stages of burnout and the leading causes of becoming burned out, it might be a good time to let you know that there is a lot you can do to fight it head-on.

      However, let’s start with what you should not do. Burnout cannot be fixed by going on a vacation. It should be a long-term solution, implemented daily.

      According to Clockify (2019), these are the popular ways to avoid burnout:

      1. Focus on your family life – 60% of adults said that stable family life is key to avoiding burnout. Maintaining meaningful relationships in your life is proven to reduce stress (instead of having many unmeaningful relationships).
      2. Exercising comes in second, with 58% reporting that jogging, running, or doing any exercise significantly relieves stress. Even a relatively short walk might improve your body’s resilience to stress.
      3. Seek professional advice – 55% say they would turn to a professional. There are online websites where you can speak with professionals at reduced costs.

      Aside from the three most popular ways of avoiding burnout, you can also try the following:

      1. Improve Time Management

      Try understanding how you can use your time better and leave more time for relaxation. That’s easy to say (or write) but more challenging to implement. It would help if you started by prioritizing yourself. Understanding the connection between your values and your everyday tasks is a tremendous help. You can use proven methods to improve the relationship between your vision and goals to your daily life tasks’ lists. Check out the Horizons of Focus or V2MOM methods to get started.

      2. Use the P.L.E.A.S.E. Method

      The P.L.E.A.S.E. is a combination of things you should do to be at your best physically. It means Physical Illness (P.L.) prevention, Eat healthy (E), Avoid mood-altering drugs (A), Sleep well (S), and Exercise (E).

      3. Prioritize

      You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes across your way at work (or in other aspects of life). You’d be surprised how easy it can become once you start saying no. Some might even describe it as exhilarating.

      4. Let Your Brain rest

      Culturally, most of us are already wired to think that hard work is essential, and while that’s true in most cases, we sometimes forget that our brain needs to rest for it to recharge. Seven hours of sleep are essential (depending on your age). Meditation might be helpful, too.

      5. Pay Attention to Positive Events

      According to Therapistaid.com, we tend to focus on the bad things in our lives. However, by focusing on positive things, we can change our mindset. One way to practice this daily is by writing three good things about your life every morning or evening. It’s been scientifically proven that doing so for a few months can help rewire your brain.

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      6. Take Some “You” Time

      A Netflix binge is not always good for you, but it might be in some cases. The better the leisure time is, the better you’ll feel in the long term. It’s usually better to read a book or start a new hobby that requires more cognitive skills than just lying on the couch. But as long as you feel good watching a movie, that might be a good start.

      7. New Technologies Might Be Helpful

      There are tons of self-help apps such as Fabulous, Headspace (meditation), Noom (diet and exercise), and others. They’re good to use, but you should also be careful not to run away from your problems only to watch social media for hours. It’s not real, and no one’s life is perfect (even if their Facebook or Instagram feeds might seem so). You should also be aware not to be in an “always-on” mindset.

      Bottom Line

      Whether you’re at the first or the fifth stage of the burnout phases, the goal of this article is to show you that there are always ways to fight it. The first thing is self-awareness—knowing that there’s a problem. The second step is to decide what to do about it.

      You can also consider using Lifehack’s community. You’re more than welcome to share your burnout story on our Facebook page.

      Bonus: Rebound from Burnout in 8 Hours

      Watch what you can do to rebound from burnout quickly in this episode of The Lifehack Show:

      https://youtu.be/MNnyqQWK_zg

      Featured photo credit: Lechon Kirb via unsplash.com

      Reference

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