Signs of Renal Failure
What Happens When Your Kidney Stops Working
The signs of renal failure are subtle at first. The main role of your kidneys is to filter out and remove toxins and excess fluid from your body through urine. These organs are also responsible for releasing hormones that regulate your blood pressure, maintain red blood cells and phosphorus in your body.
There are a lot of reasons why renal failure happens. Technically, however, it is marked when your organs operate below or at 10% of its normal function. Because of this decline, several changes in your body happen and kidney failure occurs.
- The earliest observable sign of renal failure involves your urine. Depending on the severity of your case, you can either pass a large or scanty amount of urine. There will also be a notable change in its smell and color. On certain instances, it can also appear foamy and bubbly due to the presence of protein.
- Because your kidneys are no longer effective in filtering out excess fluid, the tendency of your body is to shift this fluid extracellularly. This can manifest as swelling under the skin or edema. You’ll first notice it around your legs and feet. As more fluid remains in your body, it can also start affecting your hands, arms and even face.
- Fluid can also accumulate in your lungs which can make breathing harder. Since fluid can take up space in your lungs, you’ll also have a lesser amount of oxygen to sustain the needs of your cells. As a result, you feel tired and exhausted most of the time.
- The capability of your body to produce red blood cells also becomes affected. This aggravates your lethargy.
- With the inability of your renal tract to effectively remove toxins from the body, it can also affect your sense of taste. Ammonia breath and metallic taste in the mouth can also make you lose your appetite and, subsequently, a lot of weight. There’s also nausea and vomiting that can make eating a lot difficult for you.
- Aside from taste, toxins can also make your skin itchy. Since the itch is felt more like it’s coming from beneath the skin, you’re likely to scratch deeper and harder. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for you to break your skin into rash.
- With toxins accumulating in your body and with the decrease amount of oxygen circulating, it’s also possible for you to experience dizziness and difficulty concentrating. If not addressed properly, it can even cause confusion and risk for your safety.
- Anemia can also make you feel colder than usual. You can experience chills even if the environment or the climate is warm.
- Kidney failure also involves a notable pain around your lower back that can radiate to your sides, stomach and your lower legs.