The kidneys are two bean shaped organs in the body, each about the size of a fist. As one of the most important organs in the body, they help produce hormones that control bodily functions, like producing red blood cells and regulating the pressure of blood. They also aid in removing waste products from the body and keep toxins from building up in the blood streams. The kidney is also relevant in regulating the level of minerals and fluid in the body.
The kidneys are at the center bone of the health. So, it is important to keep track of their function. Here’s how to know if something is wrong with your kidney:
Swollen feet, face or ankles
Retaining fluid is a sign that something has gone wrong with the body’s excretory system. One of the main ways the kidney keeps the body balanced is by water regulation. If these organs are not properly functioning, then the tissues can accumulate water. Usually, this comes with swelling around the legs, hands, face and feet.
Urine colour / frequency
One of the functions of the kidney is to produce urine, so if any of the following changes, it may be a sign of a kidney problem.
- Difficulty urinating
- Blood in urine
- Less or more frequent urine
- Bubbly or foamy urine
- Different colored urine
Bad taste in the mouth
When the kidney is not removing toxins, they accumulate in the body. This can create a weird taste in the mouth and even produce bad breath. This also dulls the appetite and creates loss of weight.
Feeling tired or sluggish
A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak and make concentration hard.
Dry/itchy skin or rashes
When waste products in the body accumulate, the buildup can cause itchy patches on the skin. Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of the mineral and bone disease that often accompany kidney disease, when the kidneys can no longer keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood.
Body pain/ Muscle cramps
Electrolyte imbalances can come from an impaired kidney. For instance, low level of calcium in the body may contribute to cramps in the muscle.
Vomiting or Nausea
A sign of an unhealthy kidney is feeling nauseous or vomiting often. A build up of waste in the blood (uremia) creates this and can also extend to weight loss and loss of appetite.