It’s easy to indulge in a lifestyle where we take our kidneys for granted: Binge alcohol drinking, excessive fast food intake and frequent skip to the loo have all become usual habits to many people, especially to those living in fast-paced cities.

Like other major organs in our body, our kidneys also need attention, care, and maintenance to properly detoxify our body. Being aware of the subtle signs and symptoms of an unhealthy kidney is important as it could help you dodge severe kidney-diseases in the long run.

There are easy ways to detect if your kidneys are in an unhealthy condition and in need of urgent attention. Check out these symptoms that signal a huge red flag for your kidneys:

1. Fatigue: Weak kidneys produce less hormone called erythropoietin or EPO. It is a hormone that signals the marrow bone to produce more red blood cells, the distributor of oxygen–and energy–in the body. This means that the unhealthier the kidneys are, and the fewer the oxygenated red blood cells are in the system, the weaker the body is.

2. Swelling of body parts: When kidneys fail to remove extra fluid in the body, it causes some parts of the body to swell, especially the feet, ankles, legs, hands, and face.

3. Shortness of breath: Extra fluid in the body may eventually accumulate in the chest or lungs, also known as pleural effusion. In tandem with anemia, both can prompt shortness of breath.

4. Nausea, vomiting: One of the functions of our kidneys is to filter the toxins in the blood. When the kidneys are sick, the build-up of waste in the body can poison a person internally, causing nausea and vomiting.

5. Scaly skin: Another effect of the build-up of extra fluid in the body and the increase of waste in the blood, called uremia, is severe itching, rashes, and very dry skin.

6. Ammonia breath and metallic food taste:Uremia can also cause a person to have bad breath. The food you eat may also taste metallic and very unsavory.

7. Changes in urination: In cases where the kidneys are failing, changes in a person’s urine may occur. These changes may be in its color, frequency, and appearance. Examples are:
– Foamy urine
– Having difficulty urinating
– Urine color is brown, purple, or red (urine may contain blood)
– Urinating more or less than usual

These seven symptoms are merely the initial indicators of a budding kidney disease. If untreated, these can eventually develop into urinary tract infection (UTI), chronic kidney disease, kidney stones, glomerulonephritis, or polycystic kidney disease. Avoid these conditions by having regular check-ups at ManilaMed. Visit their website at www.manilamed.com.ph and book an appointment to a kidney specialist immediately.

Always make sure you stay hydrated, monitor your blood pressure, limit your alcohol consumption, avoid salty food, and maintain a normal body mass index or BMI. These simple steps can help you have normal—and healthier–kidneys.