Get Your Kidneys Checked Out
In most people, early stage kidney disease does not cause any obvious symptoms. So its a good idea to get your kidneys checked out by your GP or pharmacist as part of your free NHS Health Check .
You may also find it useful to use our interactive kidney disease health check tool.
You should also visit your GP if you think you may have blood in your urine as this can be an indication of kidney problems.
Watch For Accompanying Symptoms
Dry skin alone doesnt always signal something serious, but if it isnt reduced after a holistic dry skin treatment, or comes with other symptoms it may indicate underlying health conditionsand some may require a diagnosis and treatment plan from your doctor. If you suspect you might be dealing with any of these issues, contact your doctor.
What Do The Kidneys Do
The kidneys have several jobs. One of the most important is helping your body eliminate toxins. The kidneys filter your blood and send waste out of your body in urine.
The kidneys are bean-shaped organs about the size of your fist. They sit under your ribcage, toward your back. Most people have two working kidneys, but people can live well as long as at least one is working correctly.
When the kidneys dont work effectively, waste products build up in your body. If this happens, you might feel sick. In the most serious situations, kidney failure can be life-threatening. However, many people can manage kidney failure with the right treatment.
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How To Decipher Your Itch
If you wonder whats causing your itch, here are some symptoms to watch for:
- Dry skin. Your skin feels dry and itchy and appears flaky. Moisturizers help ease the itch, even if relief is temporary.
- Reactions to medications. If youve started a new medication, watch for an itch that comes with a skin rash.
- Skin conditions, like eczema and hives. Itching will usually affect specific areas, and you may see redness, bumps or blisters on your skin.
- An underlying illness. Itching typically involves your whole body, and your skin generally looks normal.
Next Try A Holistic Dry Skin Treatment
If you believe your environment or lifestyle is to blame for your dry skin, treating it at home is a smart first step. Dr. Austin recommends using a cream right after you get out of the shower. Apply the cream while your skin is still slightly damp, in order to lock in as much moisture as possible. And, ideally, your showers are brief, with lukewarm water and gentle cleansers.
In addition to treating dry skin topically, you can also use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air of your home, and add foods rich in the aforementioned nutrients plus healthy fats to your diet, which Dr. Austin recommends for healthier skin. Eggs, fish, and orange or yellow produce are great sources of vitamin A, while eating more citrus fruits, dark green vegetables, and tomatoes will increase your vitamin C intake. You can get more vitamin E from nuts, seeds, and leafy vegetables, and more Zinc from meats, whole grains, and beans. Finally, avocados and olive oil should be your go-to sources of good-for-you fats.
You should hope to see improvements in your dry skin after adopting these changes, but if you dont, further action may be needed. If you need extra support in making nutritional changes, you can also work with a nutritionist or health coach, like those at Parsley Health.
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Bottom Line: Dont Ignore Dry Skin
Whether youre dealing with dry skin due to a change in season or an underlying condition that is more serious, its important to address it immediatelyif for no other reason than dry skin is downright uncomfortable. Beyond the discomfort, of course, is the fact that you could be overlooking a condition that requires medical attention. If youve been adhering to a dry skin treatment and nothing seems to help, get in touch with your doctor or schedule a free consultation with a Parsley Health advisor.
Rashes Caused By Kidney Disease
Those that cause purpuric rashes include meningococcal septicaemia, streptococcal septicaemia and diphtheria. Several acute viral infections also cause purpuric rashes. These include smallpox, chickenpox, measles, parvovirus B19 and haemorrhagic fevers caused by Ebola virus, Rift Valley virus and Lassa fever.
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Speak To Your Gp If You Have Any Of These Symptoms
The symptoms of kidney disease can be caused by other less serious conditions, but its still important to get them checked out by your GP. If a kidney problem is detected, depending on the problem, early diagnosis and treatment can help to slow down any damage. Your GP will use blood and urine tests to check for kidney disease.
Common Treatments For Polycystic Kidney Disease
What Is Polycystic Kidney Disease? Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disease that causes cysts to grow inside the kidneys and damage kidney tissues. This causes the kidneys to become abnormally large and lose efficiency over time. The cysts are fluid-filled round sacs that do vary in size, but they …
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Kidney Disease Symptoms 10 Warning Signs Your Body Is Sending You
Kidneys, the vital organs located just below the rib cage on either side of the spine, do a lot to keep the body in check. Think of your kidney as a filter. It helps eliminate waste and toxins from blood that our bodies cant process otherwise its the removal of this waste that produces urine. They regulate blood pressure, create red blood cells , and assist in keeping bones strong and healthy.
But whats alarming is that an estimated 17.2% of Indias population has chronic kidney disease , with the disease progressing to Stage 3 and beyond in nearly 6% of people, according to data from SEEK , a US-India initiative to track CKD in India.
The good news: With your doctors help, you can detect the disease earlier and even prevent it altogether. Many symptoms of kidney disease are ignored because they dont seem serious. Keep an eye out for these:
Your ankles and feet are swollen
Youre more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating
A severe decrease in kidney function can lead to a buildup of toxins and impurities in the blood. This can cause people to feel tired, weak and can make it hard to concentrate.
You see blood in your urine
Healthy kidneys typically keep the blood cells in the body when filtering wastes from the blood to create urine, but when the kidneys filters have been damaged, these blood cells can start to leak out into the urine.
You have dry and itchy skin
When To Get Medical Advice
See your GP if you have persistent or worrying symptoms that you think could be caused by kidney disease.
The symptoms of kidney disease can be caused by many less serious conditions, so it’s important to get a proper diagnosis.
If you do have CKD, it’s best to get it diagnosed as soon as possible. Kidney disease can be diagnosed by having blood and urine tests.
Find out more about how CKD is diagnosed.
Page last reviewed: 29 August 2019 Next review due: 29 August 2022
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Uraemic Pruritus
Uraemic pruritus is characterised by daily bouts of itching that tend to worsen at night and may prevent sleep. The itch may be generalised or localised to one area, most often the back, abdomen, head and /or arms. In haemodialysis patients, the pruritus is lowest the day after dialysis and peaks 2 days afterwards.
The skin may appear normal or dry , with few to numerous scratch marks and/or picked sores.
Can Kidney Failure Be Prevented
While kidney failure from chronic kidney disease cant be reversed, you can do many things to help preserve the kidney function you have today. Healthy habits and routines may slow down how quickly kidneys lose their functional abilities.
If you have chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, youll want to:
- Monitor your kidney function, with your doctors help.
- Keep your blood sugar levels under control, if you have diabetes.
- Keep your blood pressure levels in a normal range.
- Avoid smoking.
- Make healthy diet choices, such as limiting foods high in protein and sodium.
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Did You Know Symptoms Like Dry And Itchy Skin Fatigue Could Be Indicating Kidney Failure
Written by Debjani Arora | Published : March 23, 2016 5:56 PM IST
While we become more concerned about the most talked about lifestyle induced conditions like hypertension, blood pressure, diabetes, we often forget that our vital organs also need equal care and attention. Some of the signs of organ failure are so subtle that you never know you were suffering from something grave until you reach a point from where there is no turning back. The story is the same with your kidneys too. This is one reason kidney failure is usually detected very late. However, your body sends you warning signals much before, only if you pay heed to the same. Here are some early signs of kidney failure:
The first sign of kidney failure is problems with your urine pattern or urination. The early signs of kidney malfunction might start with frequent urination at night, increase or decrease in urine output, dark coloured urine, an urge to urinate without being able to do so. And you can gradually suffer from painful urination indicating a urinary tract infection, foamy urine , stains of blood in urine. If you notice any of these signs, it is worrisome for your kidneys.
When To See Your Doctor
In general, your itchy skin should improve within weeks if you follow simple skin care steps.
If these changes do not bring relief and are distracting you from your daily routines or affecting your sleep, you should see your dermatologist, Dr. Khetarpal says. When skin is very dry, it may require a prescription ointment or cream, she says.
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Available Treatments For Itching In Kidney Disease
You may be wondering how you can stop this horrible itching in kidney disease. Unfortunately, there is no one right answer. Uremic pruritus treatment varies from person to person and there are modalities used to treat this condition. They include:
- Improve dialysis
Aside from better filters just optimizing the schedule of dialysis may help lessen the itching. If you are currently under dialysis and suffering be sure to ask if you need to revise your treatment schedule.
How Is Kidney Failure Treated
Kidney failure treatment is determined by the cause and extent of the problem. Treating your chronic medical condition can delay the progression of kidney disease. If your kidneys start losing their function gradually, your doctor may use one or more methods to track your health. By watching you closely, your doctor can help you maintain your kidneys function as long as possible.
Your doctor may gauge your kidney function with:
- Routine blood tests
- Blood pressure checks
Because the kidneys serve such an important purpose, people in kidney failure need treatment to keep them alive. The main treatments for kidney failure are:
- Dialysis: This treatment helps the body filter the blood .
- In hemodialysis, a machine regularly cleans your blood for you. People often receive this kidney failure treatment at a hospital or dialysis clinic, 3 or 4 days each week.
- Peritoneal dialysis cleans the blood in a slightly different way using a dialysis solution and a catheter. Sometimes, people can do their treatment at home.
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Low Hemoglobin Symptoms You Need To Know
Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein which functions as a carrier of oxygen throughout the human body. Hemoglobin can be found in the red blood cells. There are billions of cells in the human body, and each cell requires oxygen to function properly. Insufficiency of hemoglobin in the body affects the …
About Chronic Kidney Disease
Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively.
CKD does not usually cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. It is usually detected at earlier stages by blood and urine tests. Main symptoms of advanced kidney disease include:
- swollen ankles, feet or hands
- shortness of breath
Read more about the symptoms of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease is most frequently diagnosed through blood and urine tests.
If you are at a high risk of developing CKD, you may be screened annually. Screening may be recommended if you have:
Read more about diagnosing chronic kidney disease
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Newer Therapies For Itching In Kidney Disease
Uremic pruritus could not just be an isolated skin condition and may have underlying neurological ramifications that need to be addressed. The most likely scenario is that there is an imbalance in the nervous system. The answer to the itch would be correcting these imbalances.
Opiates trigger itching so finding an opiate antagonist may be the solution to this itchy problem. When tested these medications had some success. The best medication for stopping itch was that consisting of both an agonist and antagonist.
The National Library of Medicine has indicated the following as new therapies to stop itching in kidney disease:
This opioid receptor antagonist is a pain reliever. It can inhibit histamine and other substances that trigger scratching in animal studies. In humans, Nalfurfine is well tolerated with rare side effects. However, it was not helpful to those with really bad itching.
Results had only a mild or no effect with only a third of people feeling that itching intensity slowed. There is still a lot we do not know about this medication.
This medicine is a part opiate agonist and partial opiate antagonist. It can significantly reduce itching among people on hemodialysis.
Other New Medications
Medications For High Blood Pressure
One of the main ways to reduce the progression of kidney damage is to manage high blood pressure. Good control of blood pressure is vital to protect the kidneys.
People with CKD should aim to get their blood pressure down to below 140/90mmHg but if you also have diabetes you should aim to get it down to below 130/80mmHg.
There are many types of blood pressure drugs. Medicines called angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors are used to control high blood pressure in people with CKD.
As well as reducing blood pressure around the body and reducing the strain on blood vessels, ACE inhibitors give additional protection to the kidney.
ACE inhibitors include:
Side effects of ACE inhibitors include:
- a persistent, dry cough
- tiredness or weakness
Most of these side effects should pass within a few days, although some people continue to have a dry cough.
If the side effects of ACE inhibitors are particularly troublesome, you can be given an alternative medication called an angiotensin-II receptor blocker . This group of medicines includes:
The side effects of ARBs are uncommon, but can include dizziness.
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What Does It Mean When You Have Dry Kidneys
Having dry kidneys means dehydration resulting in kidney conditions that impair renal function. These conditions include acute renal failure, chronic renal failure and kidney disease. Excessive protein or sugar commonly causes dehydration of the kidneys and kidney conditions, according to WebMD.
Kidneys are responsible for filtering waste. Kidney disease causes high blood pressure, anemia, weak bones, poor nutritional health and nerve damage. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease, according to LiveScience.
Another cause of kidney disease is a condition called analgesic nephropathy. The long-term or regular use of over-the-counter analgesics in high doses can result in this condition, according to MedlinePlus. Other conditions which can damage or disease kidneys are kidney stones, diabetes and cancer, according to WebMD.
Etiology Of Renal Failure
Etiology of renal disease, as well as clues to suggest presence of kidney compromise in as yet undiagnosed patients, may be identified by cutaneous examination. According to the U.S. Renal Data System 2015 Annual Data Report, the leading causes of ESRD in the United States are diabetes and hypertension . Other disorders potentially resulting in renal failure, such as vasculitis, infection and several genetic diseases, may result in skin changes that provide clues to diagnosis on examination.
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When To See A Professional
It is much easier to successfully treat kidney disease when it is detected early. To slow down the progression of kidney damage, your urologist will first determine what the underlying cause is. If kidney disease progresses, it can lead to kidney failure, which may require dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
Although all of the symptoms we mentioned above are potential warning signs of kidney disease, the only way to know for sure is to seek a professionals opinion and get tested. The sooner you recognize symptoms and notify a professional, the sooner you can get diagnosed and start slowing down the progression of your kidney disease.
If you recognize any of these early signs of kidney disease, or if you have a medical condition that increases your risk, you should schedule an appointment with us at your earliest convenience.
This content was originally published in March 2018 and was refreshed in March 2021.