The kidneys (normally you have two) are the organs that perform the vital function of removing waste and excess water from the blood and body. Without the kidneys, the body would fill up with toxins and eventually die. Kidney problem symptoms should receive attention to determine the cause. Non-life threatening urinary conditions such as urinary tract infection can lead to kidney damage and other life threatening problems if left untreated.
Problems in other parts of the urinary tract can lead to kidney problems. Things such as bladder infection can spread to the kidneys. Kidney stones can damage the kidneys even after they move out of the kidney. A stone can create a blockage in the ureter tubes that back up urine into the kidney, causing damage. This list may be helpful when seeking treatment.
The following is list of kidney problem symptoms.
- Flank pain – Pain located in the mid section of the back and side at waist level.
- Unexplained sudden weight gain
- Urine that is dark or reddish in color. This may indicate blood in the urine. Normal urine should be straw colored light yellow.
- Urine that has a strong odor. This may be indicative of infection or concentrated urine. Normal urine has little odor, that is not usually strong enough to be offensive upon urinating.
- Urinary frequency
- Burning when you urinate. This may indicate a bladder infection that can spread to the kidneys.
- Hesitancy. Either you have difficulty starting a urine stream and maintaining it or when you go to urinate, very little urine is produced
- Fever and or chills
- Increased blood pressure. The kidneys help to regulate the amount of water in the blood. They also aid in controlling potassium and calcium which the body uses for the circulatory system (heart).
- Malaise (feeling ill in general), weakness and fatigue
- Muscle pain and weakness
- Swelling in the hands, feet and ankles
- Seizures, convulsion, change in mental status
- Lack of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Puffiness of the face and eyes
Diagnosing kidney problem symptoms is done by one or more of the following:
- Diagnostic imaging using such things as x-ray and intravenous pyelogram. An intravenous pyelogram is done by injecting dye through a catheter into a vein and monitoring the travel and removal of the dye by x-ray.
- Blood tests such as checking creatnine levels can indicate how well the kidneys are clearing waste.
- Monitoring blood pressure and daily weight.
Knowing what is causing your kidney problem symptoms, will determine what course of treatment you need.
Here are some things we all can try so our kidneys stay healthier.
- Limit intake of caffeine, spicy foods, salt, and alcohol.
- Drink plenty of fluid, especially water,
- Stop smoking. Smoking is irritating to the urinary tract. The kidneys have to work to eliminate the nicotine as well.
- Do not take medicine unless necessary. The kidneys are responsible for ridding the body of the medications so toxic levels do not occur.
- Urinate before and after sexual intercourse to help reduce infection risk.
Monitoring and keeping our kidneys healthy is vital. If you suspect you are having problems with your kidneys; visiting your health care professional may be in order.