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- Kidney failure facts
- What are the kidneys?
- What are the kidneys? (Continued)
- What causes kidney failure?
- What causes kidney failure? (Continued)
- What are the signs and symptoms of kidney failure?
- How is kidney failure diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for kidney failure?
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Kidney transplantation
- What is the prognosis for someone with kidney failure?
What are the signs and symptoms of kidney failure?
Initially, kidney failure may be not produce any symptoms (asymptomatic). As kidney function decreases, the symptoms are related to the inability to regulate water and electrolyte balances, clear waste products from the body, and promote red blood cell production.
If unrecognized or untreated, the following symptoms of kidney failure may develop into life-threatening circumstances.
- Shortness of breath
- Generalized swelling (edema)
- Generalized weakness due to anemia
- Loss of appetite
- Congestive heart failure
- Metabolic acidosis
- High blood potassium (hyperkalemia)
- Fatal heart rhythm disturbances (arrhythmias) including ventricular tachycardia and ventricular fibrillation
- Rising urea levels in the blood (uremia) may lead to brain encephalopathy, pericarditis (inflammation of the heart lining), or low calcium blood levels (hypocalcemia)