Many kidney diseases can occur without showing any symptoms, resulting in a late diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses. According to kidney.org, over 30 million American adults have kidney disease but most are not aware of it.
Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, Chief Medical Officer at the National Kidney Foundation said: “There are a number of physical signs of kidney disease, but sometimes people attribute them to other conditions.
Also, those with kidney disease tend not to experience symptoms until the very late stages, when the kidneys are failing or when there are large amounts of protein in the urine. This is one of the reasons why only 10% of people with chronic kidney disease know that they have it.”
It is vital to recognize any disease at the earliest stage and below are the non-obvious signs your kidneys are not working properly.
#1 Skin Rashes
Kidney problems cause extra fluids in the system. An excess amount of fluid may result in skin rashes because the kidneys couldn’t get rid of uremic toxins out of your body. If rashes do not disappear after treating them for days, consult your doctor.
#2 Panic attacks
There are many reasons why panic attacks occur, such as chronic fatigue, stress and also genetics. If you experience symptoms of panic like sweating, sudden changes in blood pressure, and increased heart rate, these could be signs of an adrenal tumor or pheochromocytoma.
#3 High blood pressure
Hypertension or high blood pressure damages blood vessels that may cause kidney failure. When the blood flow is too strong, it stretches and weakens the blood vessels, making it more difficult for kidneys to eliminate toxins out of the system.
#4 Muscle cramps
Severe muscle cramps may be a sign of a misbalance of electrolytes in the body. Potassium and magnesium play a huge role in muscle functions and deviation can lead to muscle cramps. However, this problem may also be caused by an excess of liquid due to inflamed kidneys.
#5 Back pain and high fever
An acute backache accompanied by frequent urination, vomiting, and high fever can be a warning sign of a kidney problem. If you experience these symptoms, visit your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis.
Excessive amounts of potassium that sick kidneys may not be able to get out of the body and can have adverse effects on the cardiovascular system. Disruption of the heart rate can be serious and may require lab tests as some symptoms are easy to confuse with other illnesses.
Swelling occurs due to an excess amount of water. They form near the feet, eyelids, and face, but can spread all over your body. Other symptoms that may accompany swelling include migraines, sleepiness, muscle pain, and bone pain.
#8 Bad breath
One of the causes of unpleasant breath is a urinary tract infection. Metabolism products stay longer in the body and may go into the digestive tract, causing a faint smell of ammonia and metallic taste in the mouth.
#9 Feeling cold even when the temperature is warm
Shivering, insomnia, weakness, difficulty breathing and tiredness are all signs of anemia. Kidney problems may reduce the production of erythropoietin, a hormone that stimulates the production of red blood cells. Anemia may also be a sign of kidney problems.
#10 Dryness and itching of the skin
Itching, dry skin, jaundice, and hyperpigmentation may appear due to an excess amount of phosphorus that is not leaving the body as fast as it should. It can also be due to intoxication caused by metabolism products as the kidneys are not functioning properly.
People who are at risk are those who have diabetes, older than 60, heart problems, blood pressure problems, overweight, and are smoking.