7 Signs of Toxic Kidneys

7 Signs of Toxic Kidneys

toxic kidneysHealth

Our kidneys are always at work. Day and night, they help eliminate toxins and waste products from the body. In addition to the key roles that kidneys plan in toxin and waste removal, they are also responsible for:

  • Regulating the amount of fluid within the body
  • Maintaining internal homeostasis (balance) that is crucial to the health
  • Creating urine from by-products

Numerous kidney conditions affect different areas of the organ. Most situations do not impact the whole kidney and its structure. Instead, most disorders stem from problems with the renal artery and renal vein (the blood vessels to and from the kidney), tissues within the kidney, or the ureter, responsible for transferring urine from the kidney to the bladder.

Kidney disorders are unique in that their symptoms are very similar, if not the same. Here, we discuss the seven most common symptoms of kidney disorder.

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7 Signs of Unhealthy Kidneys

kidneys

1. Irregular urine odor

Urine odor can vary from person to person. Much of this has to do with someone’s diet, level of hydration, physical activity level, or the temperature in their environment.

Most people have a sort of “musty ammonia odor” due to the trace amounts of urea in their urine. (Urea is an organic element essential to the process of urination.)

If a kidney malfunction is present, it’s common for urine to give off either a fishy or sweet smell. A change in urine odor can also occur from diabetes, liver disease, and even certain supplements.

2. Changes in urine color

In a healthy person, urine will have a pale yellow hue. Those who drink a lot of water may have lighter-colored or clear urine, both of which are normal. Dehydration may produce a dark yellow color, which is not necessarily dangerous but should remind you to drink more fluids.

Urine that is brown, black, orange, pink, or red is abnormal and could signal an underlying disorder or disease. Blood in the urine (hematuria) produces red to pink-colored urine – and should prompt us to visit a doctor to rule out a serious condition.

3. Visible changes in urine

Urine is composed of approximately 95 percent water. The other 5 percent are a mix of minerals, metabolized drugs, and other substances. The high water concentration usually produces clear to dark yellow urine depending on hydration levels.

When there are visible changes, such as pus or froth in urine, it is necessary to have a check-up. Excess protein in the urine may also signify a problem, but it isn’t always visible. Pus or saliva in the urine may result from an underlying infection.

4. Pain in the abdominal area

As the kidneys are situated in the abdominal cavity, wherein many other organs lie, it can be challenging to pinpoint the source of pain without a doctor’s help. However, kidney pain tends to be located around the edges of the abdomen and the back.

A burning sensation while urinating, despite popular belief, is usually not a kidney problem. Instead, it’s more likely to be a urinary tract infection or UTI. Of course, a UTI necessitates medical intervention and treatment.

5. Urine frequency

Typically, a healthy person will pass from approximately 16 to 100 ounces of water, depending on the water consumed. (It’s considered beneficial to be in the sixty to hundred-ounce range.)

Kidney problems can produce an excess or shortage of urine expelled. An oliguria condition will cause a person to make less than the average amount of urine. Polyuria is when a person expels more than 100 ounces of water in a day. Again, water intake has a lot to do this. But sudden changes in urine frequency without altering fluid intake may cause concern.

6. Swelling, nausea, and shortness of breath

Swelling, especially of the legs, may surface as the kidneys cannot expel the average amounts of urine. This condition is more broadly described as “water retention.” Shortness of breath may occur as the blood’s pH levels are erratic – this places more burden on the respiratory system. Nausea (a comprehensive symptom) may surface as byproducts accumulate in the bloodstream.

7. Other symptoms

As with many other vital organs, the kidney can produce seemingly unrelated symptoms. Some symptoms reported by medical professionals upon diagnosing a kidney condition include confusion, headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, seizure, and skin discoloration.

Prevention and treatment

It is also important to mention that certain racial and ethnic groups are at a higher risk for kidney failure than others. Compared to Caucasians, the rate for African-Americans is nearly four times higher; Native Americans and Hispanics, 1.5 times higher, and Asians at 1.4 times higher.

The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes (approx. 44%) and high blood pressure (28%). Per kidney.org, the top five ways to protect your kidneys are:

  • Eating healthier foods and having a well-balanced diet
  • Limiting salt and caffeine intake
  • Prioritizing rest (not overworking)
  • Regular exercise
  • Reduction of sugar and fat intake

kidneys infection

Reducing stress whenever possible is the best preventative measure you can take, not just for preventing kidney disease but nearly every other adverse health condition.

Urinary strip tests may be purchased at certain pharmacies. Self-screening is a good idea to rule out the more severe kidney conditions, but it is still advisable to seek a professional opinion.

Treatment depends on whether the condition is acute (short-term) or chronic. A critical kidney condition may be due to many things, and a doctor must order tests to determine the appropriate treatment. Provided treatment is administered correctly. The recovery rate is high.

Chronic kidney conditions generally require dialysis or a transplant. Again, the earlier that the situation is discovered, the better.

It is vital to have a comprehensive physical done every year. If you should identify with any of the above-mentioned symptoms, please seek the advice of a medical professional.

10 Ways to Have Healthier Kidneys

If you hope to avoid these issues later in life, make these healthy lifestyle choices right now.

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1. Control your blood pressure

One of the best ways to have healthier kidneys is to control your blood pressure. Normalize your blood pressure with a healthy lifestyle that includes staying physically active and eating well for your heart foods. Heart-healthy foods include foods such as:

  • Avocados
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Dark chocolate
  • Fatty fish
  • Fish oil
  • Leafy greens: Mustard greens, Swiss chard, kale, collard greens, and spinach
  • Walnuts
  • Whole grains

2.  Stay physically active

Exercise lowers your risk of developing unhealthy kidneys. It helps avoid heart disease and high blood pressure, both significant contributors to sick kidneys and related problems. Staying active also enables you to control your cholesterol. Evidence shows that taking part in exercise and limiting a sedentary lifestyle leads to overall healthier, better functioning kidneys. Choose activities that keep you moving, such as:

  • Aerobic exercising
    Biking-indoors or outdoors
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Skiing
  • Walking

3. Eat a healthful diet

Eating a healthy or salubrious diet includes consuming natural foods instead of processed foods. Choose fresh vegetables and healthy fruits, whole grains, and lean meats. Try low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Avoid fast foods which are loaded with sugar and fat. Try swapping out unhealthy ingredients in your recipes for healthier choices. Some simple healthy food swaps include these:

  • Swap out your white potatoes for sweet potatoes
  • Eat rye bread instead of white bread
  • Choose brown rice rather than white rice
  • Choose olive oil with balsamic vinegar and spices instead of store-bought salad dressing
  • Use Greek dressing instead of sour cream
  • Eat frozen grapes instead of popsicles

4. Get screened regularly

If you have a family history of similar problems, get screened regularly for kidney disease. Screening involves a urine test to look for damage. You may need a blood test to gauge how well your kidneys are working—the urine test checks for albumin, a protein. The blood test looks for GFR, and glomerular filtration rate, which checks how well your kidneys filter. Also, if your family history involves heart disease, you need to get checked out because heart disease and kidney disease go hand in hand.

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