Your kidneys are one of the smallest organs in your body, but they have one of the biggest jobs—they filter out all of the toxins you encounter every day. In fact, your kidneys must filter 20-150 quarts of blood just to produce 1 to 2 quarts of urine, which is composed of wastes and extra fluids.
Each of your kidneys has close to one million tiny filters known as nephrons. Typically, you are born with two kidneys. These small bean-shaped organs sit right under your rib cage, one on each side of your spine. While you can live with only one kidney, it can be very taxing on your body and eventually, you may require dialysis if the kidney becomes overwhelmed.
Yet, they often suffer from damage, which causes huge complications. Therefore, it is extremely important that you know the signs of kidney damage in order to prevent further health issues and treat the problem on time.
These are the most common symptoms of improper function of the kidneys:
When healthy, kidneys produce the hormone EPO (erythropoietin), which forms red blood cells. These cells are needed for the proper supply of oxygen throughout the body.
In case the number of red blood cells is lowered, the person often experiences muscle damage, severe anemia, fatigue, and brain damage.
Damaged kidneys often lead to swellings in the body, especially in the leg, ankle, hand, face, and feet areas. The body cannot remove the accumulated waste and fluids and they cause swellings.
Kidney failure mostly appears because of the waste buildup in your body. It can cause rashes and itchy skin. If the kidneys can’t filter our blood and remove the waste build up, our skin will start to look dry, unhealthy and irritated. The situation can be eased with the help of creams and lotions, but if the rash or skin problem is caused by kidney problems, they can’t help and you’ll need an adequate treatment.
These are some additional early signs of kidney damage:
- Urination changes (a reduced amount of urine)
- Pale urine color, frequent, and in large amounts
- Foamy urine
- Dark urine, less frequent urinating and with small amounts
- Pressure during urinating
- Troubles urinating
- A great urge to urinate during the night
- Upper back pain