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What are the Different Acute Renal Failure Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2016
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Rapid breakdown of kidney function is a serious issue, which is why it is unfortunate that acute kidney failure does not always come with obvious symptoms. In fact, many people have no acute renal failure symptoms, though this condition often occurs when people are already in the hospital for other issues, making it possible to be caught early. Some of the physical signs include decreased urine output, swelling of the body, thirst, fast heart rate, and flank pain. Diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting also often occur in those with acute renal failure symptoms. This condition may also impact the mental state, as confusion usually occurs along with dizziness and fatigue.

Flank pain, which is tenderness on one side of the body, is often a sign that something is wrong with the kidney, though some may mistake it for a simple kidney infection or just overall soreness. Of course, as other acute renal failure symptoms show up, it may become obvious that the problem is more severe. For example, extreme thirst, a metallic taste in the mouth, and very little urine output may occur. The body may swell up, especially the legs and feet, sometimes making it obvious to others that something is wrong.

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The stomach is also often affected by renal failure, as many patients feel nauseous when their kidneys do not work properly. This can be followed by vomiting and diarrhea, making dehydration a possibility, though this is also occasionally the cause of the renal failure to begin with. The heart rate may speed up, though the pulse can usually hardly be felt since it tends to become weak. If the renal failure is severe, seizures, a coma, and fluid in the lungs may also occur. Fortunately, most patients get medical treatment before the issue becomes too severe, especially if they are already in a hospital when the acute renal failure symptoms show up.

Symptoms may also spread to the brain, as confusion is usually present during renal failure, especially if the patient is dehydrated, as well. It is often difficult to concentrate, partly due to the sudden fatigue that often accompanies other acute renal failure symptoms. Patients who are confused or lethargic may have trouble seeking medical treatment since they may find it difficult to stay awake or leave their house at all. This may result in the issue becoming more severe, which is unfortunate since the condition can usually be reversed if caught early.

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