The kidneys are small organs, but they do a lot of important work. If they send you warning signals, it is important to pay attention. The kidneys filter out waste from the blood and get rid of water that we produce in the form of urine. All the blood in our body passes through the kidneys around forty times a day, and they do this job with the help of around one million tiny units called nephrons.
You might not expect it, but problems with your kidneys can actually show up in your hands. Keep reading to discover the warning signs and when you should visit a doctor.
1.Changes to your fingernails
Your fingernails and toenails can reveal a lot about your overall health. For example, changes in your nails can be an early sign of heart problems, diabetes, thyroid disease, or cancer. There are several things to look for in nails if you have kidney disease, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA). These include “a white color on the upper part of one or more nails and a normal to reddish brown color below (half-and-half nails); pale nails; and white bands running across one or more nails (Muehrcke’s nails).”
Your kidneys typically filter out nitrogen waste; however, when they can’t do so, the waste accumulates and changes the look of your fingernails and toenails. If you identify with any of these symptoms, it would be beneficial to consult a doctor.
2.Changes in skin color
Kidney problems can cause skin on the hands and other parts of the body to change color. The AADA says when kidneys stop working as they should, toxins build up in the body. This can cause different colors on the skin, like an unhealthy pale color, grayish, yellowish, or darkened skin. There can also be thick skin with bumps and deep lines. Cysts and whitehead-like spots might also form after a long time of scratching itchy skin.
3.Dry and itchy skin
An often overlooked symptom of kidney disease is dry, itchy skin. This is caused by an imbalance in minerals and is called pruritis. Dry and itchy skin can be a sign of mineral and bone disease, which often accompanies advanced kidney disease, says the AADA. This happens when the kidneys are no longer able to keep the right balance of minerals and nutrients in your blood.
Dry, itchy hands can be a sign of other potential problems, including dehydration and using too much hand sanitizer. If it occurs with other signs of kidney disease, such as the frequent urge to urinate, the two may be related.
When the filters in the kidneys get damaged, it can make someone feel like they have to go to the bathroom more often. The person might feel a lot of pressure when they go to the bathroom, and their urine might start looking bubbly or foamy. This happens because there is more protein in their urine, which is a sign that something is wrong with their kidneys.
There are many reasons your hands could be swollen. A fracture, sprain, or dislocation can lead to swelling, as can arthritis. Another potential cause of swollen hands is kidney problems.
The kidneys play a vital role in filtering waste from the blood and producing urine. When they don’t do their job correctly, fluid stays in the system instead of being excreted. This extra fluid may cause swelling in fingers and hands, as well as feet and ankles. If you see swelling in these extremities along with other symptoms of kidney problems, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician to see if they could be indicative of kidney problems.