Patient Comments: Kidney Failure - Symptoms

The symptoms of kidney failure can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Published: June 23

My kidney failure was discovered by accident through routine blood work at the time of my yearly physical. The first red flag was a high potassium level on two different blood draws over a two month period of time. I had observed several symptoms of which I am only now aware, and it is my hope that by sharing these, someone may decide to seek medical advice. The first symptom oddly enough was an "itchy back," another one was simply an �ill feeling� -- not being very hungry � sweating -- breathlessness -- a rapid heart rate -- and discomfort (pain) in the location of the left kidney. These "symptoms� did not appear all at once or I would have run to the doctor. They came independently, and so it was difficult to attach it to anything concrete. I now know that all of these are symptoms of chronic kidney failure. It is vital to be informed and educated. Be a water drinker. I did not hydrate myself ever. Now I try to love my kidneys. They do massive amounts of work for me and all they want is a drink of water.

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Comment from: hamd, 19-24 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 21

My blood urea and creatinine are very high, first time I had the lab test. I have a wound on feet since a week and it is bleeding and there is a lot of pus. Dressing is done daily. Hb is 7.8 percentage and the doctor suggested scanning, which is showing that the kidney size is small. I have no other related problems.

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Comment from: amyada19, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 15

My son went in for a doctor's appointment for an injury during hockey. Just to be safe they ran blood work. After many additional tests they found out that he is in stage 4 kidney failure. He has been put on the transplant list and we are waiting for a donor. He is currently at 18 GFR (glomerular filtration rate).

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Comment from: Terri, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I have stage 4 renal failure. This last December I had surgery on an emergency basis as my colon burst open and I had infection in my abdomen. My doctor said, I won't qualify for a kidney transplant, as I have hepatitis C along with HIV. To me that really shouldn't make that much difference, but it will.

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Comment from: TEFO, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: October 03

I have lost weight and have smelly urine. My doctor says they are leaking proteins and only advised that I drink lots of water but I continue to lose weight. I am concerned that I have kidney disease.

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Comment from: Kelly, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I received two shots of Prolia and it attacked my kidneys. I was in stage 4 but with diet now I am in stage 3B.

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Comment from: Ruth, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

I was extremely tired before the kidney failure. Blood test revealed HCT level of 32.6 and Hgb at 10.4.

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Comment from: bontro, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I had severe pain running up and down the right of abdomen and pain in the neck. I couldn"t stand up, it was too painful.

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Comment from: Charwill, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 20

I was diagnosed about three years ago with stage 3 kidney failure. I had no signs that I was aware of as I also have congestive heart failure since 1995. Now, I have itching all over my body, excessive sweating, pain in back, neck, shoulders and legs, as well as increased ankle swelling.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Kidney Failure - Treatment Question: What kinds of treatment did you or a relative receive for kidney failure?
Kidney Failure - Diet Question: What changes have you made to your diet since you were diagnosed with kidney failure?
Kidney Failure - Diagnosis Question: Describe the events and tests that led to a diagnosis of kidney failure.
Kidney Failure - Dialysis Question: What is it like to receive dialysis? Please share your experience.

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