According to Daily Health Post, although the kidneys are one of the smallest organs in the body, they play one of the biggest roles, i.e. they remove toxins you encounter on the daily. Did you know that the kidneys of an average individual need to filter between 20 to 150 quarts of blood in order to make one to two quarts of urine? Both of the kidneys have up to one million small filters known as nephrons. The kidneys are located on the left and right side under the rib cage. Even though one can live with one kidney, it can be very challenging for the body and in case the kidneys become overwhelmed.
Unfortunately, statistics by the CDC shows that every one in ten U.S. adults or more than 20 million people suffer from some level of kidney disease. The numbers are constantly increasing. Experts believe that the increase of kidney disease sufferers may be a result of the fact that the symptoms do not present themselves until the illness has progressed to the point where it requires hospitalization and medical treatment.
What Are the Causes for Chronic Kidney Disease?
As seen on Daily Health Post, this illness happen when some other illness or a health condition weakens the kidneys and causes a damage which becomes worse over a period of several months or years. Some of these health problems are diabetes, type 1 and 2, hypertension, inflammation of the glomeruli, and inflammation of the tubules (surrounding structures in the kidneys), polycystic kidney disease, enlarge prostate, chronic kidney stones, some cancers, and recurrent kidney infections.
Major Symptoms that the Kidneys Are in Danger
- Urine changes
If you have been noticing some of these changes regarding your urine, make sure you consult your physician:
Pressure while urinating
Reduction in urination
Urinating in large amounts
Since the kidneys are in charge of filtering fluids from the body, if this fluid is not filtered properly, you may notice swelling in specific body parts like the hands and feet because of the additional struggles and pressure of the kidneys to get rid of surplus fluid, as well as puffy eyes and swollen joints.
- Shortness of breath
When the kidneys are pressured, fluid can start to build up in the lungs and make it difficult for you to breathe properly. When there is not enough oxygen in the blood, it becomes overly hard for the body to function and thus, you will feel as if you are out of breath.
Since the kidneys cannot remove toxins and waste from the body, the body will try to eliminate them in another way or through another organ such as the skin. Hence, you may experience skin problems like rashes, dry and irritated skin, as well as open sores. Although creams and ointments may relieve the symptoms, they will not address the underlying issue, that is, the kidney problem.
- Metallic taste in the mouth
When the kidneys fail to function optimally, you may experience a metallic taste in your mouth due to the numerous toxins deposited in your body. Also, the unfiltered waste deposit may alter the taste of food and cause bad breath and poor appetite.
- Lack of concentration and dizziness
When the kidneys become overwhelmed with toxins, they will start to fail and the body will lack oxygen, including the brain. This may result in poor focus and memory, dizziness, and brain fog.
- Lower back pain
Since the kidneys are located in the lower back area, you may feel dull or sharp pain as a result of an UTI or kidney stones.
In healthy individuals, the kidneys produce a hormone known as EPO which elevates the amount of red blood cells in the blood. They transport oxygen to every body part. When there are insufficient levels of oxygen, the organs do not function optimally and you will end up feeling tired even after a good rest.
- Vomiting and nausea
With the abundance of waste and toxins in the blood, you may feel extremely nauseated and start vomiting. In a lot of cases, this also signifies an UTI, so make sure you consult your physician as soon as possible to determine the underlying cause.
Healthy kidneys produce an important hormone which encourages the body’s production of red blood cells, i.e. erythropoietin. Therefore, problems that prevent the kidneys from functioning optimally will also impede this process and decrease the oxygen-carrying red blood cells and put you at a higher risk of anemia.