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What are the Signs of Kidney Failure?

The symptoms can differ based on how bad the kidney failure is, how quickly it is getting worse, and what is causing it.

There are 2 main types of kidney (renal) failure:  acute (sudden) and chronic (over time).

Acute Renal Failure – ARF

ARF occurs when the kidneys suddenly stop filtering waste products from the blood.

The signs of ARF can be:

  • swelling of the hands, feet and face (edema)
  • internal bleeding
  • confusion
  • seizures
  • coma
  • abnormal blood and urine tests
  • high blood pressure

Chronic Renal Failure – CRF

CRF builds slowly with very few symptoms in its early stages.

A patient with CRF may not have any symptoms until kidney function declines to 20% or less. At that stage, these signs may appear:

  • abnormal blood and urine tests
  • high blood pressure
  • weight loss for no reason
  • low red blood cell count (anemia)
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • metal taste in your mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • shortness of breath
  • chest pains
  • numbness and tingling
  • confusion
  • coma
  • seizures
  • easy bruising
  • itching
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • muscle twitches and cramps
  • weak bones that break easily
  • yellow-brown skin color
  • itching
  • swelling of the hands, feet and face (edema)
  • trouble sleeping