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: 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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Comment from: carrieshepherd, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I didn't have any symptoms. I went in for a stomach ache and they found a growth on my only working kidney. I was born with just one kidney and it is working at 5%. I am working on getting put on a transplant list.

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Comment from: Jasmin, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I am 18 years old. After going to the er for something else, I presented with Kidney disease symptoms, after getting some tests my doctors said I had kidney failure. Its scary to think that the symptoms were pretty much non existent to me.

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Comment from: meltnorm, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 28

I did not realize I had quit urinating until my husband and I went on a long road trip. I didn't feel the need to stop to urinate at all. Thinking back, I was very nauseous, vomiting, and had horrible leg cramps. On the fourth day, I went to the ER and was admitted to the ICU. After five dialysis treatments I was on the road to recovery. I now measure my output just to be sure.

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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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