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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 9, 2019

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

      The result: no more mental stress.

      2. Unplug

      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

      3. Easy on the Caffeine

      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

      The result: mental stress will be gone!

      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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