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Signs & Symptoms of a Toxic Kidney

By Rose Kitchen ; Updated July 27, 2017

Toxic kidney, also referred to as nephrotoxicity, is a condition that occurs when exposure to aristolochic acid causes injury or damage to the kidneys. Aristolochic acid is a chemical said to possess anti-inflammatory properties that has been used in different herbs and herbal blends, according to the American Association of Oriental Medicine. If the kidney damage is mild, the patient may not experience any symptoms or just a few, and signs of the condition may only show up in blood and urine tests. If the kidney damage is severe, several symptoms can be present, and kidney failure often occurs.

Urinary Signs

The kidneys help to flush out toxins through the urine, so when they are not working properly, such as due to toxic kidney, certain urinary symptoms can be present. According to Wrong Diagnosis, these include proteinuria and enzymuria. Enzymuria is a condition in which there are enzymes present in the urine. Proteinuria is a condition in which excessive amounts of protein are excreted in the urine.

Blood Signs

There are several different blood signs of toxic kidney. These include increased blood-urea levels, increased levels of electrolytes in the blood, increased blood-hydrogen ion level, increased blood pressure and anemia, says Wrong Diagnosis. Anemia occurs when the number of red blood cells present in the blood is reduced.

Kidney Signs

Toxic kidney affects the kidney, so there are certain signs and symptoms exclusive to the kidneys. According to Wrong Diagnosis, these include kidney damage, tubular necrosis and kidney dysfunction. Kidney damage is simply damage affecting the kidneys. Kidney dysfunction occurs when the kidneys are not working at their optimal level. Tubular necrosis is a condition in which the kidney's tubule cells become damaged due to the kidney tissues receiving less oxygen than they need to function normally. Tubular necrosis ultimately leads to acute kidney failure, according to Medline Plus, which can lead to decreased urine output, fluid retention, nausea, drowsiness and confusion.

Imbalances and Fatigue

Water imbalance, electrolyte imbalance, and fatigue are also signs of toxic kidney. These three signs occur as a result of the kidneys not functioning properly. A water imbalance occurs when the body's sodium concentration is either too low or too high, according to Discovery Health. When the amount of water within the body either increases or decreases, an electrolyte imbalance can occur. These imbalances can lead to muscle cramps, thirst, irritability, changes in heart rate and blood pressure and seizures.

Toxic kidney can also cause fatigue. When a person is fatigued they tend to have a lack of both motivation and energy, says MedlinePlus. They may also experience apathy and drowsiness.

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