What are the signs of kidney disease?

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    The kidney is one of the most important organs in our body. It plays a very important role in helping to filter waste products from our blood. These waste products will then be excreted from our body as urine. Other kidney functions include regulating the fluid level, electrolyte concentrations, blood pressure, acid-base balance and also producing hormones that affect blood and bones. This is why a damaged kidney will usually pose great problems to a person’s health. A lot of diseases can damage the kidney. Some of these include diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney infection, kidney inflammation and also Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD). The majority of these patients will have dirty urine (kencing kotor) specimens upon testing. The question is, how to know whether you have a kidney disease prior to a urine test? Here are some possible signs you may have kidney disease:

    • Feeling tired all of the time. One main function of the kidney is to filter waste products from the blood. If the kidney is damaged, there will be toxins built up in the blood and this will cause tiredness to the body. Another factor is because kidney damage will lead to anemia, a condition where the body does not make enough oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This in turns will make the body very weak as there will be a shortage of oxygen.
    • Having difficulty breathing. This can be related to the kidneys in two ways. Firstly, anemia will make it hard to breath as there is not enough oxygen in the blood. Secondly, kidney failure will cause extra fluids to build up in the lung. Hence, interfering with your lung function.
    • Have dry and itchy skin. When the kidneys are damaged, it will be unable to filter out waste products from the blood. Excessive waste products will accumulate in the blood and this in turn will make your skin very dry and itchy.
    • Needing to urinate too often. If you are always getting up during the night to urinate, then this might be a sign of kidney disease. This is because any damage to the kidney filters will usually cause an increase in the urge to urinate.
    • Have bloody urine. As the kidney filters are damaged, some blood cells can leak into the urine. This is why the urine can appear as red, dark brown or purple in colour. Normally, this indicates diseases such as tumor, infection or kidney stones.
    • Have foamy urine. Apart from blood cells, proteins can also leak into the urine. When this occurs, your urine will appear to have excessive bubbles. You usually need to flush several times before these bubbles go away.
    • Have a puffy face. Failing kidneys mean failing to regulate the fluid level in the body. Extra fluids will then build up in the body, causing your face to become swollen.
    • Have swollen ankles or feet. As mentioned before, extra fluids can build up inside the body due to the kidney’s inability in regulating the fluid level. Due to gravity, these extra fluids will usually build up in your ankles or feet. This will make it hard for some people to walk and perform their daily activities.
    • Foul taste and breath. A buildup of waste products in the blood will make some foods you eat taste different and cause bad breath. You might experience some weight loss as you do not feel like eating.

    These are some possible signs that you may experience when you have a kidney disease. If you think you have any of the mentioned signs, it is recommended to go and see your doctor as soon as possible. Remember, early detection can help save your life.