5 Ways Your Body Signals A Kidney Problem

As far as kidney problems are concerned, your body can display several signs. Read on to find out what they are.

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: Apr 13, 2023 22:21 IST
5 Ways Your Body Signals A Kidney Problem

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Every organ is vital for the healthy functioning of the body. Apart from the brain, heart, lungs, and liver, our kidneys also play a significant role in maintaining overall health. The two bean-shaped organs help in filtering blood, removing wastes and extra water to make urine, explains the US National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Furthermore, it aids in maintaining a healthy balance of minerals, water, and salt in the blood. Therefore, it is crucial to note the signs of troubled kidneys and to take the necessary measures. 

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Signs Of An Unhealthy Kidney

There are several ways your body can signal poorly functioning kidneys. These include:

Extreme fatigue

When kidneys fail to function at their maximum potential, it can lead to the build-up of toxins in the blood, causing people to feel fatigued and extremely tired. In addition, kidneys are also partly responsible for the production of Red Blood Cells (RBCs), which helps in supplying oxygen and nutrients to the brain and the muscles. Therefore, if your kidneys do not function efficiently, it can lead to anaemia, a condition caused by the lack of RBCs. One of the most common symptoms of anaemia is fatigue. 

Changes in urination

Your kidneys are responsible for making urine by filtering wastes and excess water from the blood. When your kidneys stop functioning normally, it can lead to changes in the urine and urination pattern. Some of the symptoms include an urge to urinate more frequently, other symptoms include foamy, dark urine, and sometimes blood in the urine as well. 

Swelling and puffiness around your face, feet and eyes

One of the primary functions of the kidneys is to flush out all the toxins and wastes from the body. When they are not working effectively, it can impact the filtering process, leading to the build-up of impurities and the accumulation of excess water and salt. Hence, it can lead to swelling and puffiness in the face, feet and eyes. 

Dry and itchy skin

As discussed, kidneys eliminate waste and extra water from the body. This helps them ace several functions, such as creating RBCs, maintaining healthy bones, and balancing minerals and nutrients in the blood. Having said that, if you have dry and itchy skin, it can be a sign of an imbalance in the number of minerals, such as phosphorus, in your blood. 

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Gastrointestinal problems

People with kidney problems also suffer from gastrointestinal issues. This includes nausea, vomiting and loss or changes in appetite. Given that unhealthy kidneys fail to function effectively, it fails to remove toxins and waste (urea) from the blood. High levels of urea in the blood can cause digestive problems.  

Understanding Your Risk Of Kidney Problems

Some of the risk factors for kidney problems include:

  • Older age
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Frequent intake of medications
  • Certain medical conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases

Preventive measures

Prevention of kidney diseases comes down to your lifestyle and the habits you develop over time. Having said that here are some factors that can help in reducing your risk:

  • Eating healthy diet
  • Maintaining healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Quit smoking
  • Managing pre-existing health conditions
  • Following proper instructions when it comes to using medications


Kidneys are our body's natural filter, which helps remove waste, toxins and excess water from the blood. This, in turn, helps in the production of RBCs, assists in maintaining strong bones and balances the minerals in the body. It is important to know when your kidneys are suffering and, more importantly, to understand the symptoms and the cause. Visit your healthcare provider for the most appropriate diagnosis and effective treatment.