SymptomsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Signs and symptoms of kidney failure develop slowly over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Signs and symptoms of kidney failure may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Sleep problems
- Changes in urine output
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
- Persistent itching
- Chest pain, if fluid accumulates around the lining of the heart
- Shortness of breath, if fluid accumulates in the lungs
- High blood pressure (hypertension) that's difficult to control
Signs and symptoms of kidney failure are often nonspecific, meaning they can also be caused by other illnesses. In addition, because your kidneys are highly adaptable and able to compensate for lost function, signs and symptoms of kidney failure may not appear until irreversible damage has occurred.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you have any signs or symptoms.
If you have a medical condition that increases your risk of chronic kidney failure, your doctor is likely to monitor your blood pressure and kidney function with urine and blood tests during regular office visits. Ask your doctor whether these types of tests are right for you.
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