Symptoms of End Stage Kidney Failure

Symptoms of end stage kidney failureKidney is one of the most vital organs in a human body. Failure of kidney may stop all the important functions of kidneys and result in fatal outcome. Kidney failure can be divided in three stages, acute kidney failure, chronic kidney failure and end stage kidney failure. If not treated for longer period, chronic kidney failure may progress to end stage kidney failure. Symptoms of end stage kidney failure start to appear when the kidney function is less than 10% normal.

Initial symptoms of end stage kidney failure

The people, who suffer from end stage kidney failure, may experience some common symptoms in initial period. Such symptoms are as follows:

  • General ill feeling
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss without trying to lose weight
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Generalized itching (Pruritus)
  • Dry skin
  • Hiccups that occur very frequently

Severe symptoms of end stage kidney failure

If the end stage failure progresses, the patient may start to suffer from severe symptoms such as confusion, lethargy, drowsiness, cramps, seizures, blood in stool or vomit, neuropathy, decrease or increase in urination etc. Other severe symptoms that may occur at the end stage of kidney failure are as follows:

  • Abnormally light or dark skin
  • Changes in nails
  • Bone pain
  • Breath odor
  • Excessive thirst
  • Menstrual period stop
  • Vomiting, especially in the morning
  • Swelling of the feet and hands
  • Easy bruising and nose bleeds
  • Impotence and low level of sexual interest
  • Sleep problems such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome

End stage kidney failure affects the brain and nervous system that may result in various symptoms such as:

  • Drowsiness and confusion
  • Numbness in the hands, feet or other areas
  • Problems in concentrating and thinking
  • Cramps or muscle twitching


Doctor may recommend for dialysis depending upon different factors such as your lab results, severity of symptoms and readiness. The patient should start to prepare for dialysis before it is absolutely necessary. Dialysis can mainly be performed by two different methods.

  • Peritoneal dialysis: In this method, waste is filtered using a peritoneal membrane inside the abdomen. The abdomen is filled with a solution that helps to remove toxins. The solutions are drained out after some time. Peritoneal dialysis can be done at home, but should be performed every day.
  • Hemodialysis: Hemodialysis is performed by circulating the blood through special filters outside the body. The blood, along with solutions, flows across a filter to remove toxins.

How to treat symptoms of end stage kidney failure

Kidney transplantation or dialysis is the only treatment for end stage kidney failure. Your doctor will decide which treatment should be used on the basis of your physical condition and other factors.

Changes in the diet

Sometimes, the doctor may suggest the patients to make some changes in the diet to control the symptoms of end stage kidney failure. The diet changes usually include:

  • Limit fluids
  • Eat a low-protein diet
  • Limit salt, phosphorous, potassium and other electrolytes
  • Get enough calories kidney disease for more detail

Special medicines called phosphate binders are able to prevent phosphorous levels from becoming too high. Taking extra vitamin D and calcium are helpful for curing the symptoms. But, the patient should talk to a doctor before taking them. Anemia is a main symptom associated with kidney failure and can be treated in various methods. Extra iron in the diet, special shots of medicine called erythropoietin, iron pills and blood transfusions are the common treatment of anemia. Different methods are possible to treat the problems with restless leg syndrome and sleep.

Complete cure for end stage kidney failure is impossible. However, the patient can get relieve from the severity of the symptoms with treatment such as dialysis and other medications.

Discussion Started to “Symptoms of End Stage Kidney Failure”

  1. rocky says:

    If complete loss of appetite, along with belching, bloating, fullness of stomach, pain in upper abdomen, weight loss and stubborn constiation occurs in ckd, does it mean its time for dialysis….my dad also has developed stubborn constipation lately and nausea and vomiting…he is on cortico steroids…but as soon as the course is finished, wihin 5 days again he has water retention in legs and hands…is it time for dialysis?…If nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite constitute uremic symptoms, how long will it take to progress to ESRD? and how long can he survive without dialysis?… when is the right time to get fistula done?…also his report shows proteinuria as +++ but serum creatinine level as 0.8 which is normal…than what can be his ckd stage??? he has heamoglobin level as normal, but his red blood cell distribution width is more than normal level? does this mean he has anemia?? iron deficieny anemia??

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