How you can know if you will suffer from kidney failure

We all know that people in their elderly years suffer from kidney disease. We see it as normal and as a matter a fact, we are expecting it to happen to us.  For people that are young, having kidney disease seems like something that will come in many years or that will never happen. Youngsters see it as a joke and don’t even pay attention to it until it is too late or the symptoms are really evident.

Ok, some of us are worried for ourselves, a relative a brother or somebody close to us and we would really like to know how can kidney failure be prevented, or at least identified in time.

Symptoms that are easily identified only appear when there is actually nothing to do or when the kidney is already damaged. Here is where hemodialysis comes into play and all the other annoying and not so pleasant treatments.

So, how can we as normal human beings identify if we will have a kidney failure in the future? What are the signs? Let’s take a look at those changes in the body that tell us that our kidney is starting to fail or that there is high possibility that it fails in the future.

Tiredness

How you can know if you will suffer from kidney failure

Image courtesy of Philippe Boulet at flickr.com

Do you feel more tired than normal? Do everyday activities get you tired? Are you no longer able to do sports because after 15 minutes your body can’t take it? Well my friend, this could be a sign of your kidney failing big time.  When the kidneys are failing there is a big buildup in the amount of impurities that your blood can take. Yes, your blood will have impurities, but it is the kidney´s job to clean the blood. If the kidney is not doing it properly, your body will suffer as a whole and it will make you waste energy and feel tired. Anemia is also a disease that causes tiredness and loss of energy, and anemia is directly caused by kidney failure.

Another consequence of toxins in the blood not being cleaned out is that you cannot sleep properly. This is clinically called “sleep apnea” and it is more common in people that have kidney failures. Obesity is also thrown in the equation when the kidney is failing and has been failing for long.

Skin problems

How you can know if you will suffer from kidney failure

Image courtesy of Angie Moon at flickr.com

The skin is the first defense against external threats. The kidney regulates minerals in the bones, skin and blood. The kidney also removes dirty particles and extra fluid from your body which in turn contributes with the buildup of red cells. When people get dry and itchy skin that means that the kidney is failing to produce or regulate minerals in bones and blood and can no longer balance the amount of minerals needed to work and the other ones that need to be flushed.

The urine

This one is very common and easy to identify. If you see that you are going to the bathroom to urinate more often than normal, especially in the night that is a clear sign of kidney failure. This is directly caused by the kidney filters being damaged and not being able to retain the urine when necessary or do not have enough strength to do so.

Another symptom that can be seen in an early stage of kidney disease is that the urine contains blood. Kidneys have the ability to retain the blood while they are doing their job and they retain very well the blood cells. When a kidney works, its blood retention is amazing, but when it fails, blood leaks to the urine tract and can be seen in the toilet.  Also, and more importantly, blood in the urine can also mean tumors, kidney stones or an infection.

Lastly, in the urine area, when the urine contains foam, it a bad sign. When there are too many bubbles in the urine it means that protein in the urine is very, very high. Sometimes the foam does not disappear even if you flush the toilet 2 or 3 times. If there is any doubt on how this foam looks, well, it is similar to the foam produced when you scramble eggs.  The protein found in foamy urine is albumin, which is the exact same protein found in eggs

Your eyes

People tend to think that the only symptoms to kidney disease are related to organs that the kidney affects. Well, unfortunately, since the kidney cleans blood and organs, kidneys have everything to do with every single part of your body. In the eyes, people can see a bit of a change around their eyes. It is called puffiness and it is because of the same protein mentioned before that is just not getting out of the body.

Be sure to also check this post on all you need to know about dialysis.

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