Symptoms of kidney failure can develop when your kidneys quit working. Chronic kidney failure or chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs gradually over long periods of time such as months or years. Acute kidney failure occurs suddenly when something happens to stop your kidney from working.
It is important that you recognize the symptoms of kidney failure so that you can see your doctor to find out why your kidneys are failing.
When you identify the cause of your kidney failure you can take steps to improve your kidneys function and prevent further damage. In some cases, if you can identify the cause of your kidney failure, the damage can be reversed and your kidneys can return to full function.
Recognizing the symptoms, and identifying their cause, is the first step in managing your disease and controlling your symptoms of kidney failure.
Acute Kidney Failure Symptoms
Symptoms of acute kidney failure may develop when your kidneys suddenly stop working. This can happen when an accident or injury interrupts the blood flow to your kidneys or when your kidneys are suddenly overloaded with toxins because of changes in other parts of your body.
Acute kidney failure symptoms can also develop when the urine flow out of the kidney is obstructed. This obstruction may be related to kidney stones, benign prostatic hypertrophy, or malignancy blocking the flow of urine.
The First Sign is Decreased Urine Production
The first sign of acute kidney failure is decreased urine production. When your kidneys stop working no urine is being produced. This can be quickly followed by electrolyte imbalances and the accumulation of waste products in your bloodstream.
Along with lack of urine output symptoms can include fatigue, loss of appetite, and headache. Increased potassium levels may cause dangerous arrhythmias or irregular heartbeats.
When fluid it is not being excreted you may develop swelling and edema in your feet and ankles. As the symptoms grow more severe fluid may accumulate in your lungs causing pulmonary edema.
Chronic Kidney Failure Symptoms
Symptoms of CKD may develop slowly over months or years. Some of the most common causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes, hypertension, and inflammation within the kidney itself.
Other groups with increased risk for chronic kidney disease include Native American Indians, people with a history of kidney disease in the past, and people who have family members with kidney disease.
The earliest symptoms of kidney failure may be subtle and observed only on lab tests ordered by your doctor. When your kidneys first begin to fail they will not filter your blood correctly.
Urinalysis may reveal
Blood tests may show elevated levels of creatinine or urea which are two waste products of your metabolism that should be removed from the blood and excreted in the urine. Urinalysis may reveal protein in your urine that should be retained in your blood.
As your kidney disease progresses there will be increased symptoms related to other functions of the kidneys.High Blood Pressure
Hypertension may develop because of fluid retention and disrupted production of renin. Renin is a hormone that is produced by the kidney. It is involved in regulating your blood pressure.
Swelling And Edema Fluid retention may cause swelling in your legs and feet. This can become so severe that it overloads the lungs causing pulmonary edema and difficulty breathing. In other cases this excess fluid may overload your heart causing congestive heart failure.
Lethargy, Pericarditis, Encephalopathy Urea, creatinine, and other waste products may accumulate to dangerous levels in your bloodstream causing a variety of symptoms ranging from lethargy to pericarditis (inflammation of the heart) or encephalopathy (brain disease).
Weakness And Fatigue Erythropoietin is a hormone produced by the kidney that stimulates the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. Red blood cells are important because they carry oxygen to all of the muscles throughout your body.
When erythropoietin is not being produced there will be a shortage of red blood cells causing anemia. When the anemia gets worse you may notice weakness and fatigue.
can develop suddenly and be severe
Symptoms of kidney failure may develop slowly and they may be subtle or barely noticed. In other cases they can develop suddenly and be severe and life threatening.
Your kidneys are very important organs. Some of their most valuable functions involve filtering your blood, controlling your body fluids, and helping to control your blood pressure. When your kidneys begin to fail there will be symptoms that you can notice.
recognize what is happening
Learning what the symptoms are, and what they mean, will help you recognize what is happening so that you have time to take appropriate action. Any of these symptoms should not be ignored. They can quickly become life threatening.
If you are having symptoms of kidney failure you should see your doctor immediately. Early diagnosis means early treatment and will give you the best possible outcome for your situation.
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