Kidney disease does not sneak up on you without warning signs being present. You need to know what to look for to catch it early and take action to prevent it from becoming a severe health concern.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, one in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease. Over 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation also says that kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is pretty advanced.
Your kidneys are mirror images of each other, and the two organs reside in your lower back beneath the muscles. They are responsible for removing waste and fluid that is not being used by the body’s cells through the urine.
There are different kidney problems, including kidney infection, kidney failure, polycystic kidney disease, cancer, and kidney stones. Kidney failure is also called renal failure. A doctor can determine if you have any kidney diseases by testing either your urine or blood or both.
Risk factors associated with signs of kidney disease include diabetes, smoking, vitamin deficiencies, high cholesterol, and hypertension. Early detection is essential so that steps can be taken to prevent the disease from progressing.
You can reduce your risk of kidney disease by making lifestyle changes. Start by adopting a vegetarian diet that is low in fat, limiting salt and alcohol intake as well as getting regular screenings with a physician.
The consequences of having advanced kidney disease can include dialysis, the need for a kidney transplant, or premature death. It is beneficial to your health to see if you have any of the following ten warning signs of kidney disease and consult with a doctor quickly.
10 Early Warning Signs of Kidney Disease
1. Lower back pain
Backaches and joint pain could be signs of an injury or symptoms of a kidney infection. Read more about helping flush your kidneys in our article here.
2. Dark urine can reveal kidney disease
Blood can be passed into the urine, but this is often only seen under a microscope. However, being dehydrated can result in dark urine. Painful urination is another warning sign of kidney disease.
3. Changes in the quantity of urine
Going to the bathroom either too often or not often enough can be a sign of a problem with the kidneys. You may also feel the need to use the bathroom but cannot do so.
4. Metallic taste in your mouth
A buildup of waste that is not flushed out of your system can make you have a sense of a metallic taste in your mouth. Also, people may notice that you have particularly bad breath, which smells strangely of ammonia.
5. Kidney disease can cause nausea and vomiting
The buildup of waste that the diseased kidneys are not removing can also give you a nauseated feeling. Nausea can become severe enough to make you vomit. This is also another way for your body t try to rid itself of food that cannot be properly processed anyway.
6. Protein aversion
When the body cannot process the nutrients that you are consuming, there will be a buildup of these in your system. A buildup of protein and an inability to process it will cause you to have less desire for protein. It just won’t sound good to you.
Kidney disease can also cause a lack of appetite in general. When your kidneys aren’t functioning well, you can also have cravings for strange things like chewing on ice or eating inedible substances like dirt or chalk.
7. Foamy urine
When you use the bathroom to pass urine, check if it is bubbly or foamy looking. The bubbles can indicate the presence of protein passed in the urine. Typically, the body uses the protein rather than excreted, so this is a warning sign of potential kidney disease.
Many reasons can cause weakness, but in combination with the other signs listed here, it is cause for concern. Anemia can be associated with kidney disease, and that is likely what is causing your fatigue.
9. Mental confusion
Anemia is a symptom of kidney disease because the kidneys also help the blood to carry oxygen. When the kidneys are diseased, the number of red blood cells drops. Extreme fatigue can cause mental confusion.
10. Swelling of face, feet, or hands
Swelling means that fluid is retained in the body when it would typically excrete through the urine. When the kidneys are not functioning correctly, they cannot handle the extra fluid properly.
Swelling can happen in multiple places in the body. This swelling is also called edema. The kidneys are not excreting fluid as they should, and the body is retaining water and salt.
8 Habits To Reverse Kidney Disease
1. Eat a whole plant-based diet
Growing evidence suggests that eating a whole plant-based diet slows down the progression of chronic kidney disease. Plant-based proteins have more alkaline and anti-inflammatory properties, which will protect your kidneys. If you choose to go on a plant-based diet, be sure to adjust your nutritional needs to keep the right balance. Eat more fruits, lean meats, veggies, lower-fat dairy products, and whole grains.
2. Reduce your high blood pressure
There is no cure for kidney disease, but if it’s diagnosed soon enough, you can slow down or even prevent the disease’s progression. High blood pressure can cause kidney disease. When you have high blood pressure, your blood vessels get constricted, so they get damaged all over your body, especially in your kidneys. The narrowing of your blood vessels slows down blood flow into your kidneys, so it can’t remove waste and fluids from your body correctly. The extra fluid in your body causes high blood pressure. This threatening cycle leads to more damage to your kidneys.
3. Stay physically active to avoid kidney disease
Exercise helps fight kidney disease by improving your muscles function lowering your blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It also helps your stay at a healthy weight. Choose activities that use your large muscle groups, including:
4. Eat less sodium
The National Kidney Foundation suggests you lower your sodium in these practical ways.
|Foods to eliminate||Instead, eat these|
● Lemon pepper
● Meat tenderizer
|Fresh garlic, fresh onion, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, lemon juice, low-sodium/salt-free seasoning blends, vinegar|
|High Sodium Sauces such as
Avoid salted snacks such as
Avoid cured meats.
|Homemade or low-sodium sauces and salad dressings; vinegar; dry mustard; unsalted crackers, popcorn, pretzels, tortilla, or corn chips|
|Avoid cured meats||Eat fresh meats and proteins|
●Pickles, pickle relish
●Lox & Herring
●Cold cuts, deli meats
|Fresh beef, veal, pork, poultry, fish, eggs|
|Avoid processed foods like
Convenience Foods such as
●Packaged Macaroni & Cheese
●Frozen prepared foods
● Fast foods
|Eat natural foods:
Natural cheese (1-2 oz per week)
Homemade or reduced-sodium soups, canned food without added salt
Homemade casseroles without added salt, made with fresh or raw vegetables, fresh meat, rice, pasta, or no added salt canned vegetables
5. Keep a healthy weight to help avoid kidney disease
Maintain a healthy weight to help reduce or slow down kidney disease symptoms. Avoid fad diets that can be hard on your organs, especially your kidneys. Eat a healthy diet with more plants and veggies, lower your calories and increase your exercise.
6. Reduce elevated urine albumin
Having too high of urine albumin puts you at risk for kidney problems. Albumin is a protein found in your blood. Healthy kidneys don’t allow albumin to pass from your blood into your urine, but they let albumin get into your blood if your kidneys are damaged. You can take medications to lower the loss of albumin in your blood, but eating less sodium, weight loss, and protein can reduce the elevated albumin in your urine. Your doctor can check your urine for high albumin.
8. Avoid low-carb diets
Low-calorie diets help you lose weight, but they can put you at risk for kidney problems. These diets have high protein, which causes hyperfiltration in your kidneys. This puts you at risk of damaging your kidney’s function.