Kidney disease often has no symptoms at all. Which at first might sound like a good thing, but it’s not. It means that it can go undetected until it’s much too far along.
Roughly 10% of Americans battle kidney disease every day. If left untreated, it can lead to kidney failure, which means you must either receive a transplant or live on dialysis for the rest of your life. Better to learn the risk factors, the symptoms, and the tests.
Risk Factors For Kidney Disease
There are a number of different things that make developing kidney disease more likely. They include:
- Having a relative with the disease
- Being over 60 years old
- Having high blood pressure
- Having diabetes
- Being of African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian descent
Signs of Kidney Failure
While kidney disease can cause a bunch of different symptoms it is important to remember that many people don’t experience any of them until the disease has become very developed. Kidney disease is treatable, but only when it is caught at an early stage. So if you have any of the risk factors noted above, it’s best to get tested regularly even if you have no signs of kidney trouble.
That said, if you are experiencing any of these telltale signs, you should get checked out immediately:
- Loss of Appetite – could be the result of toxins building up in your system.
- Anything Off With Your Urine – if there is blood, extra foaminess, or if you are going more frequently, there could be something up.
- Dry, itchy skin – could be due to an imbalance in minerals caused by advanced kidney disease.
- Sleep Problems – could be because there are too many toxins in your blood as a result of decreased kidney function.
- Puffy Eyes – could be a lack of protein, as your kidneys improperly filter it out of your body.
- Muscle Cramps – could be happening due to imbalances in electrolytes, calcium, or phosphorous, which are the result of poor kidney functioning.
- Swollen Feet – could be an increase in sodium from improper kidney filtering.
- Tired, Lethargic – could be toxins, or anemia, a common complication of kidney disease.
Testing For Kidney Disease
Thankfully there are two easy, straightforward tests to check for kidney disease.
- The first is a simple urine test called ACR, which checks to see if there is protein in your urine, an indication that you have kidney disease.
- The second is a blood test called GFR. This is the best test to figure out whether or not your kidneys are functioning properly.
Reducing Your Risk of Kidney Failure
Again, because kidney failure is most easily treated when detected early, the best way to avoid any problems is to get tested frequently.
Other things that you can do to reduce your risk include: eating healthy, exercising regularly, avoiding aspirin and not smoking or drinking in excess. Just sort of generally leading a healthy lifestyle.