Kidney failure is a condition where the kidneys either shut down or lose function enough to require dialysis or transplant. Many of the symptoms of kidney failure are actually symptoms of the buildup of waste and other things that are supposed to be filtered out by the kidneys.
Kidney failure can happen gradually over time, or can happen all of a sudden. In the very beginning stages of kidney failure, one might not have any symptoms at all. As kidney function decreases, however, the symptoms become more and more prominent. It is important for everyone to know the symptoms and warning signs.
One of the most common symptoms of kidney failure is the inability to produce urine. The inability to urinate is dangerous because instead of flushing out excess fluids and waste, they are being held in the body. These excess fluids can build up and affect the function of other organs, such as flooding the lungs.
When your body is retaining fluids, it will let you know. One of the signs of fluid retention is swelling in your extremities, especially in your feet, ankles, and lower legs. If you are experiencing significant swelling of your extremities, you should contact your doctor right away.
Nausea and Vomiting
If the waste and toxins in your body are not able to be flushed out either by urination or dialysis, they will start to build up in your body. Much like food poisoning, these toxins can make you sick to your stomach. This can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you are worried about making yourself throw up, try to drink lots of fluid and take anti-sickness medication to avoid vomiting.
Shortness of Breath
As the fluid builds up in your body, it can start to affect the function of other organs in your body, especially the lungs. Excess fluid can start to fill your lungs and make it harder to breathe or to get a full breath.
Loss of Appetite, Fatigue, Weakness
Along will a general feeling of being unwell, kidney failure can cause loss of appetite, fatigue, and weakness. This is because kidney failure, along with the fluid retention and the excess potassium, toxins, and waste products, truly affects all of your organs. Kidney failure can also cause a decrease in the production of red blood cells, causing anemia, which can contribute to these symptoms.
Abnormal Heart Rhythm
Potassium is a mineral that helps to regulate heart beat. When the kidneys fail, they are not able to filter and flush out excess potassium. High potassium levels can cause abnormal heart rhythms, and even heart attack.
Increased Blood Pressure
Because of the high level of potassium in the blood as well as rising fluid levels, kidney failure can cause severely elevated blood pressure.
Every organ in your body relies on your kidneys to filter and flush out excess fluid, waste, and other potential toxins. When they aren't working properly, your body suffers and the signs tell all. These, and more, are all dangerous common signs of kidney failure. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially if you have a history of kidney problems, call your doctor immediately.