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.
Unusual rash or itchinessKaspars 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 balance goes awry, it can impact the look and feel of your skin, which reacts negatively to built-up waste. Because of this, rashes and itchiness can be common signs of kidney disease. These symptoms caused by kidney malfunction often feel like they go deeper than the skin’s surface, and topical treatments might yield little relief. Watch out for these everyday habits that could be harming your kidneys.
Metallic taste in the mouthRadu 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. Here are some other health problems that bad breath can signal.
Nausea or vomitingWeAre/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. Watch out for these other silent signs your body might be in trouble.
Unnecessary urges to peepathdoc/Shutterstock
Because the kidneys produce urine, frequent (or infrequent) trips to the bathroom are something you’ll want to monitor, as they can both be signs of kidney disease. 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. Here are some more things your pee could reveal about your health.
Changes in urineGongTo/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
Make sure you know these signs of kidney stones as well.
Swollen ankles, legs, feet, or facePraisaeng/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. You should also know about these signs you could have a kidney infection.
Tiredness and fatigueKite_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, so those could also be signs of kidney disease. Here are some other signs your fatigue could signal a medical problem.