4 Major Functions Of Kidneys And 4 Warning Signs Of Kidney Failure We Often Ignore

4 Major Functions Of Kidneys And 4 Warning Signs Of Kidney Failure We Often Ignore

Dec 7, 2016 
by CureJoy Editorial

Besides being those double bean sacks that process your pee before being flushed out of you, the health of our kidneys is very important. Some of their main roles are:

Balancing the number of electrolytes in our blood

Maintaining blood pH levels and body temperature

Acting as the body’s natural filter, it removes the waste toxins and materials in the blood and body

Controlling the urinary tract system, it regulates the salt, fluid, and acid levels in the body

And more….

However, when we don’t take good care of it, our kidneys start to malfunction, and some signs of that, which we often neglect are:


1. Colour Of Urine

The color of your urine may range from being a dark-golden yellow to even brown or foamy, all showing signs that your kidneys are in big trouble or failing.



2. Pain In Your Lower-Back

Usually accompanied by painful urination, if you experience severe pain in your lower back, it could be a major indication of a damaged kidney or possible harm.



3. Swelling Of Body Parts

Since the kidneys are responsible for managing the waste removal from the body, if you see some parts of your body swelling up, it could mean that your kidneys are not or unable to do its job, which is leading to a build-up of waste in other parts of your body.



4. Skin Diseases

On a similar note, besides swelling body parts, when the kidneys are not doing their job of removing toxins, this can result in making these toxins surface into your skin cells, causing some possible skin diseases such as rashes. So instead of a trip to a dermatologist you may need to check your kidneys for damage.

Early prevention is way better than late cure, so if you see any of these signs, do take heed and get your kidneys checked with a doctor as soon as possible.




Similar symptoms to those described above can be due to a urinary tract infection. Common symptoms of urinary tract infection include: Strong and frequent urge to urinate. Cloudy, bloody, or strong smelling urine. Pain or burning sensation when urinating.


Urinary tract infections in adults 


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common infections that can affect the bladder, the kidneys and the tubes connected to them.

Anyone can get them, but they’re particularly common in women. Some women experience them regularly (called recurrent UTIs).

UTIs can be painful and uncomfortable, but usually pass within a few days and can be easily treated with antibiotics.

This page is about UTIs in adults. There is a separate article about UTIs in children.


This page covers:


When to get medical advice





Symptoms of UTIs

Infections of the bladder (cystitis) or urethra (tube that carries urine out of the body) are known as lower UTIs. These can cause:

  • a need to pee more often than usual
  • pain or discomfort when peeing
  • sudden urges to pee
  • feeling as though you’re unable to empty your bladder fully
  • pain low down in your tummy
  • urine that’s cloudy, foul-smelling or contains blood
  • feeling generally unwell, achy and tired

Infections of the kidneys or ureters (tubes connecting the kidneys to the bladder) are known as upper UTIs. These can cause the above symptoms and also:

  • a high temperature (fever) of 38C (100.4ºF) or above
  • pain in your sides or back
  • shivering and chills
  • feeling and being sick
  • confusion
  • agitation or restlessness

Lower UTIs are common and aren’t usually a cause for major concern. Upper UTIs can be serious if left untreated, as they could damage the kidneys or spread to the bloodstream.


When to get medical advice

It’s a good idea to see your GP if you think you might have a UTI, particularly if:

  • you have symptoms of an upper UTI (see above)
  • the symptoms are severe or getting worse
  • the symptoms haven’t started to improve after a few days
  • you get UTIs frequently

Your GP can rule out other possible causes of your symptoms by testing a sample of your urine and can prescribe antibiotics if you do have an infection.

Antibiotics are usually recommended because untreated UTIs can potentially cause serious problems if they’re allowed to spread.


Treatment for UTIs

UTIs are normally treated with a short course of antibiotics.

Most women are given a three-day course of antibiotic capsules or tablets. Men, pregnant women and people with more serious symptoms may need a slightly longer course.

Your symptoms will normally pass within three to five days of starting treatment. But make sure you complete the whole course of antibiotics that you’ve been prescribed, even if you’re feeling better.

Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol can help with any pain. Drinking plenty of fluids may also help you feel better.

Return to your GP if your symptoms don’t improve, get worse or come back after treatment.


Causes of UTIs

UTIs occur when the urinary tract becomes infected, usually by bacteria. In most cases, bacteria from the gut enter the urinary tract through the urethra.

This may occur when wiping your bottom or having sex, for example, but often it’s not clear why it happens.

The following may increase your risk of getting a UTI:

* Additional information can be found at the bottom of this article

Women may be more likely to get UTIs because their urethra is shorter than a man’s and is closer to their anus (back passage).


Preventing UTIs

If you get UTIs frequently, there are some things you can try that may stop it coming back. However, it’s not clear how effective most of these measures are.

These measures include:

  • avoiding perfumed bubble bath, soap or talcum powder around your genitals – use plain, unperfumed varieties, and have a shower rather than a bath
  • going to the toilet as soon as you need to pee and always emptying your bladder fully
  • staying well hydrated 
  • wiping your bottom from front to back when you go to the toilet
  • emptying your bladder as soon as possible after having sex
  • not using a contraceptive diaphragm or condoms with spermicidal lubricant on them – you may wish to use another method of contraception instead
  • wearing underwear made from cotton, rather than synthetic material such as nylon, and avoiding tight jeans and trousers

Speak to your GP if these measures don’t work. They may suggest taking a long-term course of antibiotics or they may give you a prescription for antibiotics you can use as soon as you experience symptoms of a UTI.

There’s currently little evidence to suggest that drinking cranberry juice or using probiotics significantly reduces your chances of getting UTIs.




* UTI’s can also be acquired when engaging in some sexual activities, such as Urethral Sounding.

Please see below for further information and safety advice.



Sex – Urethral Sounding