Early CKD Support
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Kidney Failure Symptoms


I'm a newbie here.

Can someone please give me details of kidney failure?

I have looked on the web for info but I think info from you guys would answer my fears more completely.

Thank you

11 Replies

this site is great, for me my first symtom was puffy eye's, i was also prone to kidney infections when i was younger, i dont know if that may have been a sign of something, sometimes you read a question by some one else and think yes i have that problem too, i hope you get all your answers here, im sure you will, good luck with everything.


My symptoms were being sick every day and my joints hurt.


My initital diagnosis was through my high blood pressure and feeling sick , unfortunately it does vary with people as we all have different life styles. My mom was diagnosed with abdominal pains that weren't easing , The best thing is to get your Dr to keep up with regular blood tests and pressure monitoring . That will help give more accurate picture.


Hi, my symptoms at first were swelling all over my body leading to weight gain. My face became 'round' with the swelling with puffy eyes. Otherwise I felt fine, a little tired. If you have any worries, please go to your GP!!


Hi, I have to say that I almost didn't have any worring pains at all during all the years that I have had kidney failure.I knew I had kidney problems when I was 16 and only last april at my 38 years old my doctor told me the kidney failure was really bad and time to start taking measures, up till now it was just a control a year and the last couple of years every six months.

Only now that I am in stage 4, considering preemtive transplantation and with a sgf of 19% have been having them.

The worst one was feeling tired and the joints pains, no fluid retention in my case up till now. The second were cramps in my legs and then eventually headaches and nausea.

As they say it is diferent for every person, for example I have poliquistis kidneys and my both kidneys are double the side so I have disconform in the aera due to the size. Other illness of the kidneys make them go smaller so... is not the same for everyone.

Hope you don't feel to bad!!


Hi everyone,

Thanks for your replies, they have been very helpful.

One other question I have is; does anyone have experience of failing kidneys caused by medication? Namely immunosuppressants. I have been on immunosuppressants for over 4 yrs (currently on Methotrexate) and have had problems with my kidneys being on this drug.

Any help would be appreciated.


I did think that Alfacalcidol was the cause of my kidney failure, but after reading up about hyperthyroidism, I am now not so sure. I don't think it helped though, as it has Vit D in it which helps your body to hold onto calcium, and my kidneys couldnt cope with the amount in my body and I now have 2 little lumps of chalk for kidneys :(


i think that can happen after many years, part of my problem is being on cyclosporin (immumosup.) for over 20 years, to stop me rejecting my new kidney, no doubt you get every cold and bug going, cant be helping


there are varying signs depending on the cause and the speed of kidney failure. I was born with Polycystic Kidney Disease and contrary to popular myth that kidney failure happens later in life I believe my kidneys were failing in my early twenties (possibly as early as 12). I had immune problems - was very susceptible to all kinds of infections, varying between serious (meningitis, pneumonia, glandula-fever, chest infections which escalated etc) and persistent infections which doctors did not take seriously such as persistent gum problems, mouth ulcers, cold sores, eye infections and irritations, rashes etc. Also weak and hyper-flexible joints.

Then later the most prevalent symptom (until end stage failure in 2004) were fatigue/tiredness and lack of energy which was misdiagnosed as all sorts of things including candida which was a very fashionable alternative diagnosis at the time - for some years i believed I had M.E.

Then the other symptoms were blood in the urine, gradually more swollen ankles and some colic type pains.

So much more could have been done to alleviate the symptoms and support/retain my kidney function had the doctors listened more and acted sooner. Sometimes I feel cross as I feel they had a very fatalistic view so didn't do anything to help sooner. every year of kidney health matters and I am sure there are things you can do with diet and healthy living that could help you to protect you kidneys for as long as possible, ad to feel heard and understood. I would advise a nutritionist rather than a dietician any day.

take care of yourself. stay in touch for support

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I was on azathioprine prior to my crisis, almost 4 years ago now. When I was admitted to hospital they stopped this drug and I moved from ESRD to mainly CKD level 3. There have been odd occasions that I have ventured back to stage 4. But with plenty of rest and dietary care I have been able to keep most things under control.

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My blood got so toxic that I was not able to eat or stomach anything except for water and berries. The water eventually started to fill up my lungs as the kidney's were not able to get rid of it and I had difficulty breathing in what is known as Pulmonary Edema in the medical world. Pulmonary Edema gives you the sensation of drowning in your own fluids inside your lungs. I had a metallic taste in my mouth for 30 days and had muscle weakness all over. Could not walk even 30 feet without getting muscle aches or cramps. A lot of mental confusion and your vision gets blurry and dimmer. I could not sit in front of the computer to check my mails even for 3 minutes. Depression sets in and the only thing you can think of is how long will this suffering last? My eGFR was at down at 4 when all of this was happening to my body.


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