Counter Possible Kidney Disease Early With The Help of These Signs
Our body is indeed never ceased to fail us. It lets us function to our utmost potential of we take good care of it and it even gives us signals that something is wrong with it. The only problem is that sometimes we neglect these signs and signal which ends in health issues that are unfortunately already at a severe and untreatable stage. We take these “body signals” for granted or sometimes we even misdiagnose it with another type of illness. That is why we need to be more vigilant with our assessment because it can either make or break our health condition.
One of the very serious and “hard to detect” disease that our bodies can have is related to our kidneys. The Chronic Kidney Disease or CKD is a “silent killer” that is detected more often at the later stage of the disease. In total, majority of those suffering this disease are already entering the point where the kidneys are already failing and their blood have already been contaminated with very high amounts of protein in it. Only a lucky few (around 10%) were able to detect this disease early on and the others either do not know they actually have the disease or they learn about it too late. But with proper knowledge and understanding of this disease, we can be able to pinpoint it early on and try to prevent it from worsening.
Chronic Kidney Disease, Know When it is Happening
CKD is a type of disease where it occurs over a long period of time. It is a form of progressive kidney disease wherein your kidneys slowly deteriorate and decreases in functionality until it actually stops functioning. This is what differentiates it from Acute Kidney Disease which happens abruptly. Sadly, there is no cure for this disease and those that suffer the later stage of it only hopes for a compatible kidney transplant. That is why it is known as the “quiet disease”.
Our kidney’s primary functions affect your whole bodily system. Not only does it filter everything you consume, it also keeps our body free from toxins by washing them out our body in the form of urine. It also balances our body’s acidity and alkalinity and pH levels. Another function of our kidneys is to create red blood cells and distribute it across our bodies. That is why when we experience CKD, our whole body suffers altogether. That is why we need to pay close attention to what our body signals us in order to suppress the damage of our kidneys.
Early Risks of Chronic Kidney Disease
There are several factors that we can take note of that can contribute to this disease. If you have one to two of these, then you should start to be more vigilant with your kidney health.
- A family history of kidney diseases
- Age 60 or older
- You experience high blood pressure or have a family history of it
- You are diabetic or have a family history or diabetes
- Having a “salty” and “high meat” diet
- In poor physical shape
- Presence of heart disease in the person of in their family history
- Recurrent kidney infections
- Urinary incontinence
- High cholesterol levels
- Excessive alcoholic intake
- Overuse of over the counter painkillers
It is very crucial that you have your kidney checked annually if you are included in one of these factors. Get the required tests and go to your health practitioner for proper medical consultation.
Complications of Chronic Kidney Disease
Like any other health issues, CKD also has its complications that can worsen our health condition. Since our kidneys affect majority of our bodily functions, its complications also extend to that level. Some of its complications include:
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Fluid retention
- Decease in immune system function
- Electrolyte imbalances
Body ALERT for Chronic Kidney Disease
Now that we know about CKD and the possible after effect of it, we can now focus on the signs that we can experience if our kidneys are having issues. By catching these signs early on, we can prevent the disease from worsening and we can even prevent it from progressing. Here are the three major regions where we can spot these signs.
1. Physical Appearance
Physical appearance is the first obvious and easily visible sign that we can check up on. Paying particular attention to your appearance and any unusual difference can save you from an incurable disease.
a. Rashes and itchiness on skin
Since your kidneys flush out the toxins from your body, you will suffer excessive toxicity when they fail to function. In addition, dryness, rashes or itchiness experienced on your skin is also a sign that there is already a mineral and nutrient imbalance in your blood stream. The main culprit is the increase of uric acid in your body. The skin rash is more “deeper” as compared to other normal rashes. It cannot be cured by any topical medication because the itch radiates deeper into the skin. It can also have little red bumps as well.
b. Puffiness around the eyes, face and swollen extremities
One definitive sign of CKD is edema or the excessive swelling of a body part. In this case, it starts with our ankles and feet and will slowly ascend upwards. This is due to fluid retention which explains the excessive swelling of a particular body part. Since our kidney’s primary way of keeping the nutrients in our body balanced is through regulation of water, water will leak out and accumulate in other bodily tissues if our kidneys are damaged.
The main culprit that directs its signs towards CKD can be found in our urine. If you are able to see anything unusual or out of the ordinary from your urine output, then it is a sign of kidney issues. Here are some of the possible discrepancies in your urine due to CKD.
a. Frequent urination
If you have the sudden urgency to urinate more often despite your regular drinking habit, especially at night, then it is a sign of kidney failure. This is caused by our kidney’s filters being damaged and inability to retain its contents in.
b. Presence of blood in urine
Like what was previously mentioned, kidneys produce red blood cells and are also responsible for transporting it across our body. Once it loses its functionality, the red blood cells tend to leak to our urine which causes the blood found in it. Blood in urine can also be due to other kidney related issues like kidney stones, tumors and even infection.
c. Foamy or cloudy urine
Having bubbles or cloudy urine is another sign that your kidney is malfunctioning. This is due to the presence of excessive protein in the urine. Its consistency is similar to a beaten egg. In fact, the common content of protein in the urine (which is albumin) can also be found in eggs.
d. Increase of protein in urine
A damaged kidney will not be able to contain protein in it thus leaking it out to your urine. This can only be confirmed if you have your urine checked annually and consistently.
3. Overall Bodily Function
Another major sign which can lead to CKD can be found in our overall bodily function. It can be a sign found in the change of our daily activity or how we feel physically which is out of the ordinary.
a. Excessive fatigue
Our kidneys are also responsible in producing a hormone called erythropoietin which combats fatigue. When it is damaged, it fails to release this hormone which also stimulates the production of red blood cells which carries oxygen all throughout the body. Decreased erythropoietin and red blood cells contribute to fatigue.
b. Muscle cramps
Muscle cramps are one of the signs of electrolyte imbalances. Since our kidneys are also responsible in keeping our electrolytes “at bay” once it is damaged, we can experience muscle cramps and pain.
c. Lower back pain
Anatomically speaking, our kidneys can be found at our lower back. Pain felt around this particular area that can radiate from below the ribcage, to the sides or even towards the legs can be a sign of kidney problem.
d. Feeling nauseated or vomiting
Just think of it this way, if your body is getting filled up with “garbage” that cannot be released in the natural way, your body will literally feel nauseated from it and you can even vomit from it. This is due to the phenomenon known as uremia. Your body wants to expel the toxins in it that is why we suffer from nausea and sometimes we can actually vomit.
Our body will suffer from anemia once our kidneys start to malfunction. This is because of the inability of our kidneys to produce enough amounts of red blood cells to supply our whole body.
As always, the best way to treat this disease is early detection and to lessen your risk factors. Start to live healthy and stay healthy as early as you can. Eat better, exercise more, stop your vices such as smoking and drinking and stay positive and consistent towards your goal to staying fit and healthy.
Remember that when you take care of your body, your body will take good care of you as well.