The kidneys are one of the most important organs in the body – they filter the blood while removing excess fluids from the body, regulating your blood pressure, balancing your electrolytes and keeping your bones and teeth strong. When their function is impaired, you will suffer from health problems, which is why you need to learn and recognize the early signs of kidney damage or disease.
Here are the usual symptoms of kidney damage:
Upper back pain
Pain in the upper back is a common sign of kidney damage. It is usually felt on one side and might be accompanied by fever or urinary changes. If you’re suddenly struck with spasms and pain in the upper back, you may be suffering from a kidney infections or kidney stones.
Changes in urination
Any kind of urination changes can be an indication of kidney damage or failure. The most common changes are foamy urine, reduce frequency of urination, dark urine, an overnight urge to urinate or difficulty while urinating.
An unexpected swelling is also an indication of kidney damage. When your kidneys are damaged, they can’t remove excess fluids from the body, which can cause swelling in your face and limbs.
Severe itching and skin rashes occur when the kidneys are unable to remove excess waste from the blood. The accumulation of waste material in the tissues can dry out your skin and irritate it. These types of rashes can’t be treated with ointments and creams.
Shortness of breath
Impaired kidney function results in lower oxygen levels. The lack of oxygen carried by red blood cells causes shortness of breath caused by fluid and waste material accumulation in the body.
Metallic taste in the mouth
Kidney dysfunction or damage results in waste accumulation in the blood, which changes your appetite and causes a metallic taste in the mouth.
When the kidneys are healthy, they produce erythropoietin which is a hormone that stimulates the bone marrow to create new red blood cells. When the kidneys are damaged, however, they fail to produce the proper amount which causes lack of new red blood cells and oxygen. When this occurs, your brain and muscles become tired, causing fatigue and loss of focus.