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Kidneys work around the clock like filtration plants for blood. Excess water, waste products and any other impurities that exist in one’s bloodstream are removed by their kidneys. Kidneys are directly connected to the bladder, where the waste and extra water are stored and turn into urine. Kidneys also maintain the body’s haemoglobin levels and regulate blood pressure.

Studies recently estimated that over one lakh new patients are diagnosed with end-stage kidney disease in India every year. It was also found that the leading causes of kidney disease in India were diabetes and hypertension. It is essential that kidney disease be identified and dealt with at an early stage, which is why one needs to be aware of a

5 warning signs of kidney disease

Being tired all the time – constant fatigue
If one feels tired all the time, is constantly fatigued and seems to have no energy, it could be a warning sign of kidney disease. Feeling low on energy and tired all the time may indicate that toxins and impurities are in abundance in the blood, meaning they have not been removed after the blood was filtered through the kidneys. This points towards reduced kidney function.

Having dry and itchy skin
When kidneys are not functioning optimally, they are not filtering out waste and excess fluid from our body. Having skin that is dry and itchy might be indicative of mineral and bone disorder, which is directly related to kidney disease. Kidney disease leads to imbalanced calcium and phosphorous levels in a one’s blood, leading to mineral and bone disorder.

Wanting to urinate more, seeing blood in one’s urine and having foamy urine
Apart from being signs of a urinary infection and enlarged prostate (in men), the urge to urinate more than usual is linked to kidney disease. When kidney function is affected, there is an increased urge to urinate. Kidneys also happen to keep blood cells when the filtration process is ongoing, and damaged filters also lead to blood cells spilling over into the urine, so blood in the urine is also indicative of kidney disease. Urine that is particularly foamy (has many bubbles) indicates the presence of protein in the urine, and also points toward kidney disease.

Puffy eyes
One way to know the kidney filters are damaged is to check for protein in the urine. If excessive protein is being leaked into the urine, that means kidneys are not able to keep it in the body, and it is this that causes puffiness around the eyes.

Swollen ankles and feet and muscle cramps
Swelling in the ankles and the feet is indicative of kidney disease. When kidney function is hampered, the kidneys are unable to filter out the sodium from the body, and the excessive sodium present in the bodies, by way of water retention, causes swellings, especially around the ankles and feet. Along with sodium, kidneys also regulate electrolytes, maintain calcium levels and phosphorous levels. Low levels of calcium and an imbalanced level of phosphorous often leads to muscle cramps.

How to keep your kidneys healthy

If one wants to avoid complications with their kidneys and maintain their kidneys’ health, they can:

  • i. Stay active and focus on their fitness. Any form of physical exercise is beneficial for one’s kidneys. It is also great for overall health, and should be incorporated into one’s daily routine in any way possible.

  • ii. Keep their blood pressure in check. If one’s blood pressure reading is constantly high, it might lead to some kidney damage. Keeping this is check will not only help maintain the health of one’s kidneys, but also help prevent a host of other diseases.

  • iii. Drink enough water. Drinking a sufficient amount of water helps clean toxins and other waste from one’s kidneys.

  • iv. Keep one’s weight in check and eat a healthy diet. Obesity, along with a host of other diseases, is also linked to kidney disease. A healthy diet also keeps the kidneys from getting damaged by one’s choice of food.

So, kidneys regulate the water content in one’s body, remove waste products and produce important hormones that the body needs to function. One needs to be wary of the warning signs of kidney disease and do what they can to ensure their kidneys stay healthy. As a contingency plan, it’s best to opt for critical illness insurance, which can be your financial back-up, in case such a situation arises.

Even after following a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle, there are still chances that a critical illness might hit you. Protection is always better than cure. There is not harm to your pocket in getting Future Generali Heart and Health Insurance Plan that covers 59 critical illnesses.