Insufficient Kidney Activity: 10 Symptoms

Healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can reduce the risk of kidney failure by up to 60%. Often, however, this is caused by a genetic predisposition.

Insufficient kidney function: 10 symptoms

Sometimes we suffer from symptoms that indicate illness, but we don’t take them seriously enough: increased urination, pain on one side of the back, fatigue, etc. 

Insufficient kidney function can have various indicators. We should take notice of this and take the necessary measures as early as possible. In this way, normal kidney function can be guaranteed.

When we talk about renal insufficiency, we think of a malfunction of the kidneys (sometimes only one kidney is left). However, when these no longer function properly, this also affects other functions in our body.

These changes depend on whether the inadequate kidney function is chronic or acute. You can find out more about this below.

Insufficient kidney function: symptoms

If you have symptoms, a doctor should scan your kidneys

1. Change in urine

This is the most common symptom that always occurs at the beginning of kidney failure. This symptom can of course be related to another illness.

In fact, it is an indicator that something is not working properly, so it is best to schedule a doctor’s appointment.

  • Often times, you have to rush to the bathroom because you need to urinate badly. This even happens several times during the night.
  • Change in urine: either the urine is lighter or darker and the amount of urine is also changed. Blood in the urine is also common.
  • You feel a feeling of pressure.

    2. Flatulence and swelling

    Patients with renal insufficiency can not get rid of water retention. The kidneys are no longer able to filter the fluid normally. This will build up the fluid and cause swelling in your legs, ankles, feet, or even your head.

    Many people even complain that they can no longer put their shoes on. This is a very obvious symptom of insufficient kidney function.

    3. Fatigue

    Insufficient kidney function can lead to fatigue

    People with two healthy kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin. It guarantees that our body produces red blood cells and that is how oxygen is transported in the blood.

    In kidney failure, this hormone is produced in smaller quantities and our muscles and even our brains tire more quickly because they no longer have enough oxygen. This is called a kind of anemia, which is related to kidney failure.

    It often happens that those affected feel very tired and exhausted.

    4. Blemishes on the skin

    Since the wastes and residues in the blood are not broken down,  the kidneys lose more and more functions. As a result, the toxins and the accumulated elements linger in the body. The result is itching, discomfort and impurities in the skin.

    5. Metallic taste in the mouth

    The accumulation of waste in the blood (also known as uremia) causes the food we eat to taste differently. It can even be that we lose interest in eating because meat no longer tastes like meat or sweets like sweets.

    As a result, people with kidney failure often lose weight. The kidneys’ difficulty breaking down waste comes with many side effects. Many patients report having a “metallic taste” in their mouths.

    6. Nausea and vomiting

    The accumulation of wastes in the blood is also responsible for other side effects in our body. This often leads to vomiting, malaise and nausea, which in turn often leads to weight loss. The stomach tends to feel full even when it doesn’t. Affected people feel heavy and sluggish.

    7. Difficulty breathing

    Many people are often out of breath, for example when climbing stairs, running or even walking normally. This can be attributed to two reasons: Fluids accumulate in the body and also in the lungs.

    This makes it harder for us to breathe. In addition, as already mentioned, kidney failure often leads to anemia and oxygen transport deteriorates.

    Patients with renal insufficiency also often suffer when they are at rest, for example at night, because when they are resting they have the feeling that they cannot breathe or can only breathe poorly. 

    8. Tendency to be cold

    The anemia causes the patient to get cold more quickly. This is another typical sign of insufficient kidney function.

    9. Difficulty concentrating

    Since kidney failure leads to blood flow problems, the blood cannot be properly filtered and the hormone erythropoietin has a different composition.

    So the blood does not reach the brain in its normal dose. As a result, it does not get enough energy and various complaints arise: fatigue, dizziness and a lack of concentration or forgetting can be the consequences.

    10. Discomfort in the lower back and legs

    Back pain is a symptom of kidney failure

    Some people with kidney failure also experience pain in their back or buttocks. It is pain that extends from the back to the legs and makes everyday activities more difficult.

    It is likely that this symptom is related to polycystic kidney disease. This is a disease in which fluid cysts build up in the kidneys and cause great pain for those affected.

    How can you avoid insufficient kidney function?

    In many cases, genetic factors have an influence on the development of renal insufficiency. However, some good habits and a good diet can prevent up to 60% of cases.

    What is to be considered? Avoid being overweight, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Exercise daily for at least half an hour and pay attention to the following points in your diet:

    • Avoid red meat (and generally limit the consumption of animal protein)
    • Avoid dairy products and eggs
    • Avoid carbonated and sugared drinks (the kidneys suffer a lot from processing them)
    • Refrain from smoking, alcohol and coffee.
    • Drink at least two liters of water a day and increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables, both raw and cooked.

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