Kidney problems are more common than you think. The National Kidney Foundation reports that 1 in 7 American adults have some form of renal issue and that around 1 in 3 adults is at risk of a kidney condition, and that it is more common in women. Moreover, around 90% of people with these diseases aren’t even aware they have them. Knowing and understanding your health is important, especially in the middle of a pandemic, and knowing the symptoms of kidney disease means you can get ahead of it before it gets worse. Here are some of the telltale signs that you may be having a kidney problem:
Blood in Urine
One of the common signs that you are having kidney problems is having blood in your urine. The American Kidney Fund notes hematuria (blood in urine) can appear differently, varying from red, pink, and even brown. However, there could be other causes for blood in your urine. For instance, sexual activity, periods, or a minor injury can cause hematuria. But if you’re sure that the blood in your urine is not from any of the above causes, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible because you might have kidney stones, polycystic kidney disease, or blood clotting.
Back and Flank Pain
This area can become painful when you are having kidney problems because most renal activities happen within this area. As opposed to muscle pains, SymptomFind details that kidney-related aches will normally feel deeper and more internal around the sides of the lower back and abdomen. However, not all back pain is caused by your kidneys, but if your symptoms are accompanied by a fever, it might be time to seek a medical professional. Additionally, pain caused by kidney issues can also manifest as discomfort in the groin area.
Odd White Horizontal Lines on Your Nails
Physical manifestations of kidney problems happen as well, and your fingernails can often say a lot about how healthy you are. For example, horizontal white lines on your nails can be a sign of a liver or kidney disease. If your nails change drastically for seemingly no reason at all, this might be a cause for concern and means you should probably see your physician if the difference seems too strange to explain rationally.
Swollen Feet and Ankles
People don’t usually relate this symptom to a problem with your kidneys, but it is actually a very possible cause for it. The American Academy of Dermatology writes that if your body can’t remove excess fluids and salt, it can build up and cause swelling in the feet, ankles, legs, hands, and face. This is only possible if your kidneys fail to perform their primary function. It is important to seek help if the above parts of your body seem to swell for no reason or for prolonged periods of time.
Dry and Itchy Skin
The aforementioned American Academy of Dermatology article also states that having dry and itchy skin can be caused by kidney problems. This happens when the kidney is unable to detoxify the body and excess compounds build up. This is only seen in people who have more serious forms of kidney disease, so if you have these symptoms, it might be time to consult with a dermatologist, even if it’s just to rule out kidney failure as a cause.
Though these symptoms can be caused by other factors, it is still an avenue worth checking especially if you or your family has a history of kidney problems and failure. Make sure to get your wellness checked regularly to get ahead of any possible problem that might arise. With a pandemic still happening, you need to prioritize your health!
Are there other signs of kidney problems we should know about? Let us know in the comments below!
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