Renal failure can be acute with an abrupt onset or chronic that slowly progresses over years. Millions of individuals all over the world have chronic renal failure and thousands die every year from the complications of the condition.
Hypertension and diabetes are two of the main causes of kidney failure. It is important to note that the kidneys affect the fluid and electrolyte balance, breakdown of insulin, blood pressure as well as the elimination of waste products from the body. Always bear in mind that an individual with renal failure can suffer from various symptoms since various bodily systems are affected.
Generalized feeling of illness
Once the kidney function deteriorates, the initial symptom is the general feeling of illness or being sick. The individual often attributes headache, fatigue and diminished energy as well as other causes such as stress, overwork, allergies and certain illness.
Nausea and reduced appetite
The accumulation of nitrogenous waste products in the blood is called as azotemia. The generalized feeling of being sick caused by azotemia will suppress the appetite of the individual. Take note that fluid and electrolyte disruptions as well as the changed levels of blood glucose due to decreased insulin degradation can lead to nausea. Obviously, the nausea and loss of appetite will only reduce the energy level of the individual.
Dry itchy skin
It is important to note that azotemia can become severe before the individual becomes actually ill. As the waste products accumulate in the body, the perspiration is soaked with urea and develops uremic frost which covers the skin. The perspiration has a urine-like odor while the skin becomes dry and itchy.
As the kidney function continues to deteriorate, the individual will experience fluid retention. Edema or swelling is initially noted in various body parts, such as the feet and hands. Gradually, the swelling will become generalized and advanced symptoms of fluid retention will manifest such as wet cough, shortness of breath and even congestive heart failure. You can readily manage this symptom if you will enroll in a first aid class today.
Elevated heart rate and blood pressure
The effects of renal failure usually include an elevated heart rate and blood pressure which are called tachycardia and hypertension. The fluid retention and electrolyte disturbance can cause changes on the vital signs. Take note that the two disturbances in the electrolyte level include high potassium and low sodium level, which leads to erratic heart rhythms, muscle weakness and sudden death.
Always bear in mind that azotemia will worsen as the kidney function continues to deteriorate. Confusion is considered as a deceptive symptom of kidney failure that is usually noticed by family members before the individual is conscious of any problems. If renal failure is left untreated, confusion will progress to serious central nervous system complications such as seizures, coma and even death.