10 Non-Obvious Signs That Your Kidneys Are Not Working Like They Are Meant To

Unfortunately, kidney disease can develop without showing any obvious symptoms. Like most diseases, kidney ailments are easier to treat when they are caught early. An estimated 14 percent of adults will suffer from kidney problems at some point. By discovering a kidney disease early on, you can prevent it from developing into a major issue.

1. Dry or Itchy Skin

Normally, your kidneys work constantly to remove toxins and harmful elements. They filter the blood and help your body have a careful balance of minerals. When you suffer from itchy or dry skin, it could be a sign that your kidneys are not working properly. Ailments like jaundice, hyperpigmentation and rashes could also be a sign of a kidney problem. These issues happen because of excess toxins from your metabolism or excess phosphorus that your kidneys are unable to filter out.


2. Always Feeling Cold

If everyone else thinks the room temperature is fine, then you might have a kidney problem. Breathing problems, shivering, insomnia, fatigue and weakness are all indications of anemia. When you have a kidney issue, it can cause erythropoietin production to slow down. Normally, this hormone is responsible for stimulating red blood cell production within your bone marrow. If you suffer from chronic anemia, it could be an indication of a kidney problem.

3. Foul Breath

Your kidneys are supposed to help byproducts of metabolism leave your body. When this does not happen properly, it can cause your breath to smell like ammonia. You may also notice a metallic taste in your mouth. Foul breath can also be signs of other diseases like urinary tract infections, so it is important to go to your doctor to get professionally diagnosed.

4. Unexplained Swelling

Water retention is a common sign of a kidney malfunction. The kidneys are supposed to give your body the right balance of sodium ions. When there is too much sodium, it attracts water and causes swelling. The swelling occurs because water pools within inter-cellular spaces. This can happen on your face, feet and eyelids at first. Before long, the swelling can spread to other spots of your body.

You can see if the swelling is caused by water retention by pressing down on your skin. If water retention is the issue, then a mark will appear and disappear after several seconds. You may also notice symptoms like dry skin and a pale face.

5. Tachycardia

If your kidneys are sick, they might not be able to remove potassium like they are supposed to. This can cause negative effects in your cardiovascular system. Over time, this imbalance can cause heart rate issues like an abnormal heart rate. Since hyperkalemia can only be spotted with a lab test, the symptoms are often confused with other illnesses.

6. Backaches and a High Fever

If you have been suffering from frequent urination, an acute backache, a higher fever and vomiting, you need to go to the doctor right away. This could be a sign of a kidney problem like an infection. Most likely, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection and painkillers if you are experiencing a lot of pain.

7. Muscle Cramps

When your electrolytes are out of balance, it can cause muscle cramps to happen all the time. This happens because your body is not able to get enough potassium and magnesium to prevent the chronic cramps. Excess liquid can also be the culprit behind this symptom. When your kidneys are inflamed, they end up pressing against the nerve endings of the muscles around them. This can cause moderate to severe pain.

8. High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can hurt your kidneys over time. It causes damage to your blood vessels and can even cause your kidneys to fail. When your blood pressure is too high, the vessels become stretched and weakened. This makes it harder for your kidneys to remove toxins. If you have excess liquid in your body, it can make the situation worse. One of the leading causes of kidney disease is high blood pressure.

9. Panic Attacks

Interestingly, one symptom of kidney issues is a mental disorder. Panic attacks may occur because of chronic fatigue, genetics, stress or other issues. When you experience a panic attack, your body develops symptoms like changes in blood pressure, an increased heart rate and sweating. One potential cause of panic attacks is an adrenal tumor. An adrenal tumor can produce symptoms like a panic attack, but it can only be diagnosed by a doctor. If you think that this could be the cause of your panic attacks, make sure that you go to your doctor for an exam.

10. Skin Rashes

When you have a kidney ailment, it will generally cause extra fluids to remain in your body. Your kidneys are unable to get rid of uremic toxins, which can cause skin rashes. While you can try to treat the skin rash alone, the only way to get rid of the problem for good is to treat the underlying cause.

How Do You Know If You Are at Risk?

While anyone can develop kidney disease, there are a few groups that are more likely to suffer from this problem. People who have diabetes, heart problems or blood pressure problems are more likely to develop kidney disease. If you smoke or weigh more than normal, you are more likely to have this problem. A family history of kidney disease puts you at a higher risk of kidney disorders. In addition, people who are over the age of 60 are more likely to have problems with their kidneys.

If you have any of these risk factors, you should be especially careful about looking for symptoms. Make sure to go to your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms in this article.

Help spread awareness about the hidden signs of kidney disease by telling your friends about this article.

Our content is created to the best of our knowledge, yet it is of general nature and cannot in any way substitute an individual consultation by your doctor. Your health is important to us!