The primary job of your kidneys is flushing all that bad stuff — bodily wastes and toxins— out of your body. When they are working like they are supposed to, it is beneficial to virtually every part of you, from the skin to the inner depths of your digestive system. Conversely, when disease attacks your kidneys, just about all of your bodily functions are vulnerable and with chronic kidney disease you’ll be fighting for your health on many fronts.   

What bodily functions are adversely affected and how?

Your Cardiovascular System…

Kidney disease may inflict widespread damage to the cardiovascular system resulting in a heart attack or a stroke, the cardiovascular system is comprised of your heart and circulatory system, but it also impacts the lungs and even body tissue. All of the preceding may get stressed out by kidney failure as fluid builds up around them, and that imposing force on the heart may lead to increased blood pressure. Urea, the toxic chief component of urine, with the loss of kidney function, floods the body. The result might then be inflammation of the protective sac around the heart and large blood vessels called the pericardium. That’s not all. Hypertension and atherosclerosis may result as blood vessels are damaged by fluid and salt build-up

Speaking of the circulatory system…

So how are your blood and the network that circulates it throughout the body affected by kidney disease or failure? Then worst-case scenario could be organ and heart failure without immediate and effective medical attention. It might start with anemia and iron deficiency, further deteriorating your overall health and compromising the immune system that gives you the oomph to fight back. Anemia itself not only saps your strength and causes overwhelming fatigue, but you may struggle to breathe, and feel dizzy.

Bones, muscles and joints aren’t immune…

The skeletal and musculoskeletal system can be robbed of the calcium content of its bones as kidney disease progresses due to the heightened levels of the parathyroid hormone.  The bones might then be thinned, weakened and misshapen. These side effects are more common in post-menopausal women and the elderly.

Kidney disease leads to high levels of parathyroid hormone, which in turn draws out the calcium content from the bones, thereby making the bones thin, weak, and malformed because of the mineral imbalance. The risk is greater for women who are post-menopausal and the elderly. Accumulation of amyloid protein within the joints and tendons, resulting in amyloidosis, is a consequence of kidney failure and in the source of ongoing pain and stiffness.

Mineral Imbalance Even Affects Skin…

Kidney disease and the subsequent loss of calcium and phosphorous interferes with the normal status of the integumentary system, the skin that is supposed to protect the body.  This mineral imbalance is exacerbated is harmed due to the imbalance of minerals including calcium and phosphorus by the parathyroid hormone drawing calcium from the bones. The skin becomes a minefield of irritation and inflammation, triggering itching and scratching, especially on the back, chest, legs and hands.  This condition can become so severe that the skin is damaged by cuts, cores and other wounds from scratching the itching from this condition.

It’ll Ruin Your Appetite…

That urea we mentioned before that can play so much havoc with your heart and blood vessels? Elevated levels of it are known culprits for gastrointestinal woes, thanks to kidney disease. Loss of appetite might be the least problematic of its symptoms. One of the things you may find impossible to stomach are the minerals you’ll need to assuage problems like nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, peptic ulcers and an unappetizing taste in your mouth.

Keeping You Awake Nights…

With kidney failure you’ll be hard-pressed to get the rest you so desperately need because it could interfere with the Circadian cycle. You won’t be able to sleep and, if you do, you won’t be able to stay asleep. As if that isn’t enough to keep you awake, there is a likelihood of restless leg syndrome. Even it you get to sleep, breathing problems and sleep apnea, often related, will make it far from restful. You’ll wake up feeling like you never went to sleep at all. During your waking hours, you’ll discover that even normal activities are a struggle, because you’ll probably be exhausted. Your damaged immune system will make you vulnerable to other illnesses.

It’s Enough to Make You Depressed…

And who wouldn’t be nervous and irritable dealing with all the aforementioned? So kidney disease and all its side effects will probably take their toll on your nervous system. Depression would seem inevitable— again making you less effective in the daily demands of living and working.