What are the symptoms of kidney failure?

By: Jasmine Marfatia

Published On: November 01, 2018

Recognizing the symptoms of kidney damage, and taking the correct precautions to prevent it, might reduce your risk of kidney diseases.

You may already know that India has been declared the diabetes capital of the world. Hypertension and other heart-related diseases too are among the most pressing health concerns. As a result of these two diseases that are growing among Indians, there is another health condition that is on the rise, usually seen as a comorbidity to heart problems and diabetes - kidney diseases. 

Statistics have shown that 1 in 10 Indians suffers from some degree of kidney damage. This translates to nearly 1,75,000 people who experience kidney failure every year, and 60% - 70% of those cases are due to diabetes or poor cardiac health. 



Chronic kidney disease is a slow and progressive condition that tends to worsen with time, especially when proper care isn’t taken. The problem with a kidney condition is that the victim won’t experience a majority of the symptoms of kidney problems until much later.

 Even if they do notice some of the symptoms, it is not usually attributed to a kidney problem, because a lot of these warning signs are disguised as small ailments which one would normally just ignore. 

Today we’ve listed out certain physical signs and symptoms of kidney infection, and chronic kidney disease symptoms that could indicate a serious health concern. So if you notice any of the below symptoms repeatedly, it is best to have it checked out by a medical professional.

Kidney disease symptoms

Chronic fatigue

Kidneys produce erythropoietin, which in turn help in the production of red blood cells. People with kidney disease may produce lower erythropoietin, and as a result have low RBC count, which may cause fatigue. 

Constant fatigue, lethargy, sleepiness, or unexplained exhaustion is seen commonly in patients with kidney diseases. Since we wouldn’t normally associate tiredness to a kidney condition, it is a difficult symptom to take note of. 


Individuals with kidney conditions find it difficult to sleep because the kidneys can’t filter out toxins from the blood efficiently. Sleep apnea has been linked to chronic kidney diseases. 



Dry and itchy skin

Many kidney patients complain that their skin is dry and itchy. The condition is called uremic pruritus. A variety of reasons contribute to this condition - limited fluid intake, unmanaged phosphorus levels, not enough dialysis, and allergies, among other causes.

Appetite loss, nausea, or vomiting

If you start to feel too full after a small meal or start feeling nauseous or you vomit, repeatedly over a period of time, it could be a sign of kidney damage.

Swollen ankles and feet

This is also known as edema. Poor functioning of the kidney can lead to sodium retention, which leads to swelling in your feet and ankles. In fact, swelling in the lower extremities may also be an indication of heart disease, liver disease, and chronic leg vein problems.

Foam or blood in the urine

Foam in the urine is a result of excessive protein (albumin) which has leaked from the kidney because the filters are damaged and unable to function properly. Sometimes, even blood cells get leaked into the urine. 

Inability to think clearly or hallucinations

Studies have suggested that patients of kidney failure sometimes experience hallucinations because of high levels of toxins in the blood, their central nervous system is affected easily. With an abnormal nervous system, they will experience various symptoms like fatigue, headaches, dizziness, hallucinations, and poor memory


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Swollen face and puffy eyes

Damaged kidneys fail to remove extra fluid from the body, which builds up, causing swelling of the face and puffiness around the eyes. This too is related to edema.

Bad breath

A buildup of wastes, especially ammonia in the blood called uremia can make your food taste metallic. You may also notice that it causes bad breath.

There are several treatments available for sufferers of kidney diseases. Dialysis is one of the most widely used medical treatments, that substitutes the natural function of a kidney. It is an artificial way to purify a kidney patient’s blood from all the waste material and toxins. 



Majority patients who suffer from kidney damage are required to visit a dialysis center 2 to 3 times a week. However, dialysis has certain health, as well as financial repercussions. Often, patients are unable to afford the medical expenses associated with dialysis and other treatments and end up withdrawing from treatment, which is potentially fatal for their health. 

That said, there are alternative ways to raise money for treatment, and crowdfunding has been a boon to many kidney disease patients. Through medical crowdfunding, one simply has to start an online fundraiser, to reach out to people who may be able to provide financial help by making a small contribution towards your kidney disease treatment. 

By sharing your fundraiser extensively on Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and other social media portals, you can easily raise the entire goal amount that you’d need for your hospital bills, doctor’s fees, medications, dialysis, and diagnostic tests.


Art of the Kickstart

Take for instance Harish, who was a brilliant inspiration as a father who sacrificed his treatment to ensure his daughter would get treatment for her health condition. For his own treatment, he attempted crowdfunding and did such a great job, that he raised far more than his goal amount, to get the kidney surgery that he needed.

Even though his kidney surgery was successful, he, unfortunately, passed away weeks later due to medical complications from the surgery. Yet, Harish remains an inspiration for all of us at Impact Guru. To read more about his experience with medical crowdfunding, have a look at this link

If you or anyone you know is suffering from a kidney disease and requires dialysis or other treatments, start a fundraising campaign on Impact Guru today. 

We suggest you also read:

7 Ideas to run a Successful Kidney Transplant Fundraising Campaign

Why Indians are choosing Fundraising for Medical Bills

If you have any feedback or comments related to this article, reach out to us at engage@impactguru.com

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