Your bladder, ureters, and kidneys are part of your urinary tract. Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine, below your rib cage.
They are among the most important organs in your body. They are responsible for filtering your blood, eliminating waste, keeping the right level of electrolytes, and controlling your body’s fluid balance. All of the blood in your body passes through your kidneys a few times on a daily basis.
But, despite the essential role your kidneys play in keeping you healthy, you may not realize that they are not working properly. This means that you may be living with kidney disease, without being aware of it.
7 Signs Your Kidneys Are Not Working Properly:
– Low energy and fatigue
Healthy kidneys convert vitamin D in your body to maintain strong bones and create a hormone known as EPO (erythropoietin) that plays a significant role in red blood cell production. When your kidneys are not functioning properly, they produce less erythropoietin. Red blood cell reduction can contribute to low energy and fatigue.
– Brain fog
If you are experiencing brain fog (inability to focus, poor concentration, lack of mental clarity and memory problems,) your kidneys may be to blame. Reduced kidney function has a strong link with brain fog, so if you are experiencing brain fog, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.
– Sleep problems
When your kidneys are not doing their job, toxins stay in your blood instead of leaving your body through urine. When they are not functioning properly, it means that toxins can’t exit your body through urine and they remain in your blood as a result. That’s why you may have a hard time falling asleep.
– Dry, itchy skin
Healthy kidneys remove waste and extra fluid from your blood, help produce red blood cells, and maintain the right amount of minerals in your body. Dry and itchy skin can be an indicator that your kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of nutrients and minerals in your blood.
– Frequent urination
Frequent urination, particularly at night, can be an indicator of kidney disease. When your kidney’s filters are damaged, it can result in frequent urination. Sometimes it can also suggest a urinary infection or enlarged prostate in men.
– Foamy urine and/or blood in urine
Seeing blood in your urine may be alarming. While in some instances the cause is harmless, blood in urine may be a sign of kidney disease. It may also be an indicator that something is wrong with your kidneys or another part of your urinary tract.
Moreover, excessive bubbles in your urine, particularly those that require you to flush a few times before they go away, may be a sign of protein in the urine. The foam might look like the foam you see when scrambling eggs, because albumin (the common protein found in urine) is actually the same protein found in eggs.
– Swollen feet and ankles
Swollen feet and ankles are common and often not cause for concern, especially if you have been walking or standing for long periods of time. But if your ankles and feet stay swollen or you find yourself experiencing any other symptoms, it may be a sign of a serious health problem.
When your kidneys are not working optimally, fluid can build up in your body. Reduced kidney function can cause sodium retention, contributing to swelling in your ankles and feet. Swelling in the lower extremities may also be an indicator of chronic leg vein problems, liver disease, and heart disease.