Kidney disease is a condition in which your kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood the way they should. The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that filter excess waste from the blood and eliminate toxins and medications through the urine.
When you eat a lot of sugary foods, junk foods, or refined carbohydrates for many years, you can damage the small filtering units in the kidneys. This is why people with diabetes or high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing kidney disease.
Unfortunately, if you have kidney damage, toxins and waste products can begin to build up in your blood and cause health problems.
Over time kidney disease can develop all the way from stage 1 to stage 5 which can cause kidney failure. 1 in 3 people in the US are at risk of developing kidney disease, so it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms before it can threaten your life.
Here we will take you through the 12 early signs of kidney disease. We also share some simple remedies and nutrition tips to help support your kidneys in the early stages of this disease.
Early Signs of Kidney Disease
1. Metallic Taste
When the kidneys aren’t working properly, toxins start to back up into your blood which can trigger a metallic taste in your mouth. This is one of the earliest signs of kidney disease to be aware of.
2. Ammonia Breath
You may also notice that your breath smells like ammonia or urine. This happens because your kidneys are supposed to remove urea from your blood. If the kidneys aren’t healthy however, they do not filter this out properly.
3. Dislike Protein
People with kidney disease often start to dislike eating meat or protein. Heavy amounts of protein are hard for the kidneys to manage, so this is your bodies way of protecting the kidneys from further damage. Some people experience loss of muscle and weight as a result of this.
As the kidneys become more damaged, you may begin to feel nauseous often and even vomiting. This is because a build-up of uremic toxins or medications starting building up in the blood, making you feel very sick.
When the kidneys start to fail and waste build up in the blood stream, they can cause reactions on your skin. This can lead to skin rashes and itchiness. People with diabetes often experience this because of high blood sugars, causing damage to the kidneys and nerves.
6. Back Pain
Some people experience one-sided pain in their back near the damaged kidney. This is usually a throbbing sensation or tenderness below the rib cage. This is caused by large fluid-filled cysts developing in the kidneys, also known as polycystic kidney disease.
When you have kidney disease you will experience fluid retention and swelling around your face, hands, lower legs and feet. It usually starts around the eyes causing bags and dark circles. Eating junk foods causes damage to the small filtration blood vessels in your kidneys, which cause large amounts of protein to dump into your urine. This means that there is less protein in your blood to help bring water back out of your tissues, causing swelling on both sides of the body.
8. Poor Concentration
You may notice that you struggle to concentrate if you have kidney damage. This is because toxins built up in your blood as they aren’t being filtered properly by your kidneys. This causes a lack of oxygen in the brain, leading to poor concentration and brain fog.
9. Frequent Urinary Tract Infections
Kidney disease is a state of inflammation in the kidneys. This inflammation weakens your body’s immune response to infections, and can cause you to have urinary tract infections quite often which can be painful when you pee.
Gout is a type of inflammation that causes uric acid crystals to form in the joints, especially in the side of the big toe. This happens when your kidneys aren’t eliminating uric acid properly from your blood. This can be a very early indicator that your kidneys are weaker, so you may want to improve your diet to protect them from further damage.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes then you must take steps to improve your diet. High blood sugars cause damage to the filtration units in the kidneys which can lead to kidney disease. Diabetes can also damage the nerves in your feet and hands, the eyes liver and brain.
12. High Blood Pressure
Although high pressure can be caused by many different health problems, it is linked with a higher risk of kidney disease. The high pressure can narrow the blood vessels which eventually damages your kidneys and reduces normal blood flow.
If you experience a combination of these symptoms, see your doctor for a GFR test to determine if your kidneys are working properly.
How Can I Improve My Kidney Health
Incase you notice sign that you may already have kidney problems at an early stage, you’ll need to know what steps you can take to help your kidneys heal and protect them from further damage.
Eat lots of organic, none starchy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, broccoli, bell peppers, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, celery and cauliflower. These are loaded with plant compounds that reduce inflammation in the kidneys and help to balance your blood sugars.
Cut out sugary foods, refined grains and flour based foods from your diet such as bread, cereal, biscuits, pancakes, white rice and soda drinks. These carbs spike your blood sugars causing oxidative damage to the kidney and it’s blood vessels. Low carb diets such as keto are often used to help heal kidney damage.
Start using a powerful herb called astragalus to support the healing of the kidneys. This is an ancient Chinese remedy used for thousands of years. It has been shown to boost blood flow and the filtration rate of the kidneys, and also decrease creatinine levels.
Drink lots of high quality mineral water each day to help flush the kidneys and keep your bodily fluids balanced. Those with kidney disease can often become dehydrated due to poor kidney function, vomiting
In the early stages of kidney disease consume more foods rich in potassium to help bring down swelling in the body, reduce high blood pressure and protect the kidneys from further damage. Avocados, beet tops and cruciferous vegetables are the best source of this mineral. If you are in late stage 4 or stage 5 of kidney disease however, you may need to avoid this mineral, so be sure to speak to your doctor.
Following these steps can help protect your kidneys from further damage and help them recover from existing damage.
Kidney disease is usually a result of consuming too much sugar, junk foods, medication or alcohol for many years, which causes damage to the small blood vessels within. By spotting the early signs of kidney damage as explained in this article you can begin to make improvements to your diet in order to improve your health.
The action steps shared here will help support the kidneys in their natural function of filtering the blood, removing toxins and maintaining fluid balance in your body.