7 Silent Signs Your Kidneys Could Be in Big Trouble

More than 26 million American adults live with kidney disease. The scary thing? According to the National Kidney Foundation, only about 10 percent of those people know they have it.

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Unusual rash or itchiness

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-TroubleKaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock Properly functioning kidneys remove waste from the bloodstream and keep the circulatory system equipped with the proper balance of nutrients and minerals. When something in that balances goes awry, it can impact the look and feel of your skin, which reacts negatively to built-up waste. Rashes and itchiness caused by kidney malfunction often feel like they go deeper than the skin's surface, and topical treatments might yield little relief. This is how to ID common rash symptoms.

Metallic taste in the mouth

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-TroubleRadu Bercan/Shutterstock A build-up of toxins in the bloodstream as a result of poor kidney function could also contribute to a metallic taste in the mouth or foul breath. Some patients report that food begins to taste metallic. Others stop enjoying meat as much as they did when their kidneys were healthy. You might also consider these common causes of bad breath.

Nausea or vomiting

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-TroubleWeAre/Shutterstock If enough waste builds up in the body, you might experience nausea or vomiting. Consider it your body's way of ensuring those toxins make their way out. Nausea could also lead to a lack of appetite, which, if it occurs for an extended period of time, could cause abnormal weight loss. In the meantime, try one of these home remedies for upset stomach.

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Unnecessary urges to pee

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-Troublepathdoc/Shutterstock Because the kidneys produce urine, frequent (or infrequent) trips to the bathroom are something you'll want to monitor. For some people, kidney disease results in false urges to pee, while others will report a greater amount of urination than usual. Many say this abnormal urination schedule wakes them up at night. This is what your pee says about your health.  

Changes in urine

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-TroubleGongTo/Shutterstock In addition to peeing more or less frequently, you might also notice a change in the urine itself. Common abnormalities include:
  • passing blood in the urine
  • darker or lighter color than usual
  • foamy or bubbly consistency

Swollen ankles, legs, feet, or face

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-TroublePraisaeng/Shutterstock Another function of the kidneys is to remove excess fluid from the body. If they stop doing this, that fluid can accumulate, especially in the extremities, such as the ankles, legs, feet, face, and hands.

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Tiredness and fatigue

Silent-Signs-Your-Kidneys-Could-be-in-Big-TroubleKite_rin/Shutterstock Without properly functioning kidneys to monitor red-blood-cell counts, kidney disease patients might experience mild to severe anemia, which often leads to chronic fatigue. Other symptoms include feeling unusually cold, dizzy, or out of breath. These are the medical causes of fatigue.

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