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Kidney Failure

Kidney Failure - Symptoms

The kidneys have a large reserve and a large amount of kidney must be damaged even before a person has symptoms of renal disease. For this reason a patient may have significant kidney damage but still feel perfectly well, see a doctor only very late in the course of his disease. A patient with mild kidney failure may initially not feel anything at all and in fact may feel totally well. However, as the kidney disease progresses, symptoms become more apparent. Patients may develop:

  • High blood pressure
  • Swelling of the legs (called oedema)
  • Breathlessness
  • General symptoms of poor sleep, loss of appetite and lethargy
  • A bad smell in the breath called a uraemic fetor
  • Cramps
  • Numbness of the feet
  • Passing a lot of urine especially at night (called nocturia), or conversely too little urine.
  • Chronic generalised itch
  • Blood in the urine, which usually reflects the underlying kidney disease
  • Soapy urine or frothy urine, which reflects the presence of protein in the urine

Not all patients develop all these symptoms. Some develop these symptoms during different stages of their disease. Also, it is important to realise that these symptoms do not necessarily only mean that one has kidney disease. Each disease affects each patient differently and to different extent.

Kidney Failure - How to prevent?

Kidney Failure - Preparing for surgery

Kidney Failure - Post-surgery care

Kidney Failure - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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