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10 Signs that your kidneys are not properly functioning

Our minds process loads of knowledge every day and our bodies perform thousands of acts. Living in this busy world makes it very possible to ignore those signals your body is giving you. And the consequences of failing to communicate and respond to those signals may be drastic.

Bright Side has produced a list of signs that indicate your kidneys are not working properly. How many of those signals did your body send to you?

10. Trouble sleeping

If the kidneys don't function properly, it means toxins can't leave the body by urine and stay in the blood. The elevated toxin levels make it difficult to fall asleep. This is why you increase the chances of reducing kidney function when you get less sleep.

Warning: People with Chronic Kidney Disease suffer from sleep apnea more commonly than others. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes one or more breath pauses while sleeping. Such pauses will last from a few seconds to one minute. Normal breathing returns after each pause, with a loud snort. Continuous loud snoring means it's time to see a doctor.

9. Headaches, fatigue and general weakness

Healthy and functioning kidneys in our bodies convert vitamin D to maintain strong bones and produce a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO). This hormone plays a major role in red blood cell development. They generate less EPO when the kidneys are not functioning properly. The decline in red blood cells (those carrying oxygen) leads to quick muscle and brain fatigue.

Warning: People with Chronic Kidney Disease are commonly anemic. Anemia may begin to develop when someone has a normal kidney function of 20 to 50 per cent. If you get enough rest and sleep but continue to experience feelings of fatigue, low energy levels and general weakness, you should visit your doctor immediately.

8. Having dry and itchy skin

Healthy kidneys do great work by eliminating waste and excess fluid from the blood, helping to generate red blood cells and maintaining the body's proper mineral content. Itchy and dry skin signal the failure of the kidneys to maintain the correct mineral and nutrient balance that can lead to bone and kidney disease.

Warning: Attempt to stay more hydrated if you have dry and itchy skin. Try to contact your doctor before taking some medicine for itching. Some medicines have ingredients which could potentially further damage your kidney function.

7. Experiencing bad breath and metallic taste

When waste builds up in the blood, the taste of food changes and leaves a metallic taste in your mouth. Catching bad breath is yet another indication that the body has too many toxins and waste. In addition, you can avoid eating meat and simply lose your appetite, which may lead to an unhealthy weight loss.

Warning: Food may have a metallic taste (from allergies to poor oral health) for many reasons. Normally, if the suspected cause has been handled the metallic taste in your mouth will go away. You should contact your doctor if the taste continues to show up.

6. Shortness of breath

Two factors are responsible for the relationship between kidney disease and experiencing shortness of breath, particularly after little effort. Next, when kidneys are not working properly, excess fluid in the body passes into the lungs. Second, your body is deprived of oxygen by anemia and this results in shortness of breath.

Warning: Breath shortage from kidney failure to asthma and lung cancer or heart disease may be attributed to different causes. If after making very little effort you find that you are continuously out of breath, you should contact your doctor immediately.

5. Swelling in ankles, feet and hands

Kidneys which fail to properly function do not remove any extra fluid from the body. This leads to sodium retention which causes your ankles, feet and hands to swell. Swelling the lower parts of your body can also signal heart and heart disease, or problems with the leg vein.

Warning: Taking medicine, reducing salt, and removing excess fluid in your body can often avoid swelling. If it doesn't work, then a different treatment is required.

4. Having back pain

Kidney failure can lead to back pain, usually deep and located just below the rib cage. It can be felt at the groin or hip area in front. Back and leg pain can be caused by kidney cysts, large fluid-filled sacs formed on the kidenys, arising from polycystic renal disease.

Tip: Back pain from kidney failure is accompanied by a feeling of sickness, vomiting, high body temperature and frequent urination. Natural back pain that has no kidney connection behaves differently: pain is more concentrated and occurs all of a sudden, fever is not present. If you continue to experience back pain and ineffective pain relief pills, be sure to see your doctor.

3. Puffy eyes

The appearance of protein in the urine is an early indication that your kidney's filter system is impaired, which may result in puffiness around the eye region. The puffiness around the eye can be explained by the fact that the kidneys release a significant amount of protein into the urine instead of storing it and spreading it across your body.

Tip: If you're sure your body gets enough rest and protein but you keep noticing puffiness around your eyes, make sure you schedule an appointment for your doctor.

2. High blood pressure

The circulatory system and the kidneys are mutually dependent. The kidneys have tiny nephrons that flush out waste and excess blood fluids. If the blood vessels get damaged, there's not enough oxygen and nutrients in the nephrons that filter your blood. This is why hypertension is the second leading cause of kidney failure.

Tip: Learn how to treat your hypertension and prevent kidney failure. Add foods that are rich in folic acid, as they are engaged in red blood cell production, and can help prevent anemia.

1. Changes in urination

Your kidneys are responsible for the urine production and the removal of waste through it. Changes in urine frequency, odour, color and appearance should not be overlooked. Common styles of modifications cover:

  • The need to urinate increased, especially during the night. Anywhere between 4 and 10 times a day is deemed normal.
  • Seeing urine in blood. Healthy kidneys filter blood waste to produce urine, but if the filter is damaged the blood cells can begin to "leek" out into the urine.
  • Has foamy pee. Bubbles in the urine particularly those that allow you to flush several times before they go away suggest that the urine contains unwanted protein.

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