What are some of the common signs of kidney failure? When the kidneys fail to function properly, the body is unable to adequately relieve itself of fluid and waste. This excess fluid retention and waste build up causes a host of symptoms as other parts and systems of the body are impacted. While not all signs and symptoms of kidney failure affect all patients, there are some common signs that may warrant additional medical testing or concern.
- Changes in urination. One of the earliest signs of kidney or urinary tract disorders is often a noticeable change in urination. Changes may include more frequent urination, painful urination, or the presence of blood or an unusual odor in the urine. As the kidneys continue to weaken, urine output may stop entirely.
- Increased swelling throughout the body. The excess fluid retention is often most noticed in the feet, ankles and hands. Some patients also notice facial swelling or puffiness around the eyes.
- Muscle cramping, pain, or numbness in the feet and legs. Failing kidneys often cause numbness or an uncomfortable tingling sensation in the feet and legs. Kidney failure also often leads to muscle twitching or weakness.
- High blood pressure. Many people suffer from high blood pressure without the presence of kidney disease. High blood pressure, however, is a common sign of poor kidney function—even in its early stages—and it is important to monitor kidney function of patients suffering blood pressure concerns.
- A general ill feeling. The kidneys function to remove the body’s waste, regulate hormonal activity, and assist in the filtering of the blood—and its vital nutrients. When these functions are disrupted, the body’s healthy balance is disrupted as well leading to a patient’s ill feeling.
- Nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Symptoms of nausea or a lack of appetite often accompany chronic kidney disease. Some patients may suffer from vomiting, especially in the early day and weight loss is common.
- Bruising, uncontrollable bleeding, or blood in the stool. Patients suffering from kidney failure often bruise easily or have difficulty stopping blood flow from an injury. Some patients discover bloody stools—and women sometimes stop having regular menstrual cycles.
- Fatigue or Drowsiness. Patients suffering from kidney failure often battle fatigue and drowsiness—with little exertion. Fatigue is often worsened by the effects of sleep pattern changes common to kidney failure.
- Sleep problems. As mentioned, fatigue is common during kidney failure. Unfortunately, many patients with chronic kidney problems suffer from insomnia, or symptoms such as frequent urination or muscle cramps that make resting and sleep difficult.
- Changes in the skin. Some patients notice an increase in dry, itchy skin. Others notice a change in the coloring of the skin—such as one leg appearing lighter or darker than the other.
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