Much like the liver, the kidneys are responsible for removing various toxins and other unwanted substances from the body. Without proper kidney function, health can deteriorate very rapidly which can lead to life-endangering conditions such as the poisoning of the blood, also known as sepsis. It’s critical to pay attention to anything you experience that may indicate a problem with your kidneys. The following are some of the symptoms that could be trying to warn you that you have a severe health condition that should be addressed.
1. Urinary Changes
Changes in urinary habits, such as going more or less frequently, or the amount of urine produced could be signaling that something is wrong. A change in the color of urine may also be an indicator you don’t want to ignore since a darker color could be an indication of a problem that needs to be addressed by a doctor.
2. Pain or Difficulty
Painful urination or difficulty urinating is another potential indicator of kidney disease that should not be ignored. Urinary tract infections are often the cause of these kinds of symptoms, and most are easily treated. If left untreated, urinary tract infections can spread into the kidneys and create a more serious health concern.
Blood in the urine is usually something that will get someone’s attention right away. It’s important to realize that it is not always a sign of a serious illness, and can instead be caused by an infection or even kidney stones. There are occasions though when it is a sign of a severe condition, so it is something that should always be checked by a doctor without delay.
If the kidneys are not able to purify the blood properly as they are supposed to, an early indication is a build up of excess fluid in the body, which will often manifest as swelling in the ankles, feet, hands and even the face. When improper kidney function causes this, it could lead to much more serious health dangers rather quickly, so never ignore these types of symptoms.
5. Feeling Cold
Kidney disease can cause a person to feel cold even when they are in an area that is well-heated. This may be accompanied by fever, which is usually a sign that the body is attempting to fight off an infection.
6. Metallic Taste and Ammonia Breath
Kidney malfunction can increase the levels of urea in the blood, which may result in a strange metallic taste in the mouth and breath that smells somewhat like ammonia. The excess urea in the bloodstream reacts with the saliva in the mouth, which causes the strange metallic taste and breath that may smell like urine or ammonia.
7. Breathing Problems
As indicated earlier, kidney failure can result in a build-up of excess fluid, which can include fluid that collects in the lungs. This can mimic symptoms of pneumonia or lung infection, making breathing difficult and labored. Anemia may result from lung obstruction since not all the oxygen that the body requires is being delivered to the bloodstream by the lungs.
8. Back or Side Pain
Pain in the lower back in the area of the kidneys is usually a cause for concern, especially if it radiates to other parts of the body. Although it’s possible that this is a symptom of something serious, it’s much more common for the cause to be kidney stones, which can certainly be extremely painful but are usually easily treated.