What are the symptoms of kidney failure?

Symptoms of kidney failure, kidney disease, and other underlying causes of kidney failure can vary. General symptoms can include:

  • Cloudy or discolored urine

  • Difficulty urinating

  • Dizziness upon attempted standing
  • Dry and itchy skin

  • Easy bruising

  • Fatigue

  • Foul smelling urine

  • Frequent urination

  • Muscle cramps

  • Painful urination (dysuria)

  • Swelling of the feet or ankles

  • Urgent urination

  • Vague symptoms, such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, decreased appetite, fatigue, or generally not feeling well

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

You should seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms of kidney failure or serious kidney disease:

  • Blood clots in urine or bloody urine (hematuria)

  • Bloody stools or black, tarry stools

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness

  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations or delusions

  • Seizure

  • Severe flank pain that can move or radiate to the lower abdomen, groin, labia, or testicles

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Sudden decrease in urination or lack of urination

You should also seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have overdosed on a drug or ingested a toxic substance.


What is kidney failure?

Kidney failure, also called renal failure, is a life-threatening condition in which there is a buildup of waste and fluid in the body due to severe deterioration of kidney function. The kidneys are vital internal organs located in the upper abdomen. Normally, people have two bean-shaped kidneys that form a part of the urinary tract in the genitourinary system.

Healthy kidneys functi... Read more about kidney failureintroduction


What causes kidney failure?

Kidney failure can be caused by a wide variety of underlying diseases, disorders or conditions that lead to kidney damage, such as obstruction, infection, malignancy, inflammation, deformity, toxic ingestion, or a reduced blood supply to the kidneys. Underlying causes include:

  • Diabetes, which can damage the kidneys over time

How is kidney failure treated?

Treatment or prevention of kidney failure begins with treatment of the underlying cause. Treatment plans vary depending on the underlying cause or disease. The goal of treatment is to cure or control the underlying condition and prevent excessive fluid and waste from accumulating in the body, as well as to stop or slow the progression of kidney damage. Treatment may also minimize complications ... Read more about kidney failuretreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Sep 6, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Kidneys and the Urinary System

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