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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 July 10, 2020

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

      Boundaries are limits

      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
      • When do you feel disrespected?
      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
      • When do you want to be alone?
      • How much space do you need?

      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

      Sample language:

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      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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      Final Thoughts

      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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