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The kidneys are small organs that filter about 200 liters of water each day, removing out about 2 liters of toxins and wastes in a water medium as urine. In addition to maintaining the fluid levels in the body, they also produce hormones that regulate blood pressure, produce red blood cells, and play a vital role in maintaining bone health. Any problem with the kidney, infection or otherwise, can lead to its improper functioning, causing damaging results on the rest of the body organs.
While the bad news is that most diseases from infections to diabetes to hypertension and cancer have an adverse effect on the kidneys, there are signs that can be watched out for, which can indicate a problem with the kidneys and so further damage prevented. Read on to know some of the most common symptoms of kidney disease and how further progression can be prevented.
- Change in urination process: Any change in the process of urination should be a warning for a test. It could be change in color or the appearance of the urine, painful urination, burning on urination, difficulty to start and stop a stream, or too frequent or infrequent urinations. These are usually the first symptoms of kidney disease and should be an alarm to get a kidney function test done. If you have hypertension or a strong family history of kidney disease, then getting a simple urine test to check optimal kidney function is definitely mandated. These could indicate conditions like infection, diabetes, kidney failure, or other conditions which can all be identified with further testing and then treated accordingly. The progress of the disease can be halted, which can help improve overall quality of life.
- Fatigue, loss of energy: As noted above, impaired kidney function leads to other organs being affected and buildup of toxins in the body. There is also anemia which sets in due to decrease in red blood cells and therefore reduced overall energy levels, loss of sleep, and fatigue.
- Swollen eyes, feet, and ankles: Reduced kidney function leads to fluid accumulation, sodium retention, loss of protein, which all lead to swollen eyes and ankles and feet. These are easy to identify and should ring a bell to get checked for kidney functions.
- Muscle cramps: Improper electrolyte levels can affect muscle functioning, leading to painful cramps. Along with changes in the process of urination, this should be an indication of underlying kidney disease.
Keep a track of any above mentioned problems as they can help in saving not just the kidneys but all the vital organs. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an urologist.