In most cases of kidney failure, it has been noticed that the signs of failure show up in the late stages. Unfortunately, upon reaching this point, most of the damage is already done. However, there are some visible signs that patients can keep an eye out for. If detected in the early stages, patients can take preventive measures, save kidney from failure and avoid transplant. Here are some signs that lead to kidney disease:
Fluctuations in Urination: Since the main function of the kidney is to filter waste from the body, changes in urine is a clear sign of kidney damage. If you are feeling the need to urinate more often or in greater amounts than usual or urinate less often in lesser amounts than usual, there may be a problem. Apart from this, blood in urine or difficulty in urinating is also a cause for concern. Foam bubbles present in urine indicate protein in the urine. This foam, known as albumin, is similar to the bubbles found in scrambled eggs. Excessive amount of foam is not a good sign and should be checked immediately.
Fatigue: A healthy kidney produces copious amounts of hormones called erythropoietin or EPO which instructs the body to produce the oxygen-carrying red blood cells. A damaged kidney gradually begins to produce fewer amounts of EPO thus resulting in the buildup of toxins and impurities in the bloodstream. This leads to severe fatigue and drainage of energy. A person having a damaged kidney will typically experience low energy and lethargy for prolonged periods of time.
Swelling: If the functioning of the kidneys is not optimized, body fluids are not flushed out of the system. This results in sodium retention causing swelling of legs, ankles, and feet. It is always advisable to keep checking your feet for swelling. If distinct swelling is noticed, one should consult your doctor immediately.
Dry and itchy skin: Kidneys are responsible for regulating adequate amounts of minerals and nutrients in your body. If the kidney is plagued with disease, there is an imbalance in the system, leading to bone diseases that often accompany kidney failure. This causes continuous skin rashes and itching. Severe itchiness and dry skin is another symptom of kidney failure.
Puffiness around Eyes: A clear indication of kidney failure is distinct puffiness around the eye area. A fully functioning kidney will save protein in the system, thus building strength. However, a damaged kidney will allow the protein to leak into the urine, creating puffiness around the eyes. If you notice a puffiness or swelling, you must immediately get it checked for kidney failure as early detection and treatment will decrease risk.
Shortness of Breath: There can be two primary causes of shortness of breath. The first is the excessive presence of fluids which build up in the lungs leading to impaired breathing. The second is the absence of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells called anemia which leave your body gasping for oxygen and shortness of breath.
Keep a check on these early symptoms to detect kidney damage at the earliest.