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  • What are the symptoms of kidney failure?

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    Old 01-24-2003, 03:06 AM   #1
    OkieGal's Avatar
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    Post What are the symptoms of kidney failure?

    I have been having a lot of backaches recently over the last year. My doctor told me that it could be muscle strain but it does not feel like a muscle pulled. I get very achy all over and have bad back cramps all in my lower back and get headaches. I don't know if this is a kidney infection or not.
    Anyways I am worried about my kidneys failing. I had frequent kidney infections as a teenager and I drink too much pop and drinks with caffeine in them.
    Can too much pop and caffeine damage your kidneys and cause you to have kidney failure?
    I would like to know what are some of the symptoms anyone has had before being diagnosed with kidney failure. If they are failing what is the next step? Is is a kidney transplant or will dialysis cure you without the need for a transplant?

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    Old 01-24-2003, 04:27 AM   #2
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    I have to say that I really think you are jumping the gun a little here and your doctor is probably right about the muscle strain.

    However, first off, if you are worried, you need to go back to see your doctor and get full blood tests done and these should include all the tests for renal function such as Creatinnine and Urea, Sodium, Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium and the like. These are all indicators of renal function. You also need to get a full blood count done that tests your hemaglobin level and also white cell counts to test for infection and Sed rate for inflammation.

    In themselves, drinking too much coffee and soda will not cause renal failure. Renal failure occurs for reasons such as genetic factors, trauma to the kidneys, previous infections, obstructions and loss of circulatory volume from the body following trauma causing shock. They will not help though, as coffee is loaded with potassium which is not allowed in renal failure, as this rises quickly in the blood and can cause heart problems.

    No dialysis will ever cure you from renal failure if you have it. Renal failure is huge and has knock on effects for the rest of the body too and will affect the heart and the bones. Unfortunately, dialysis cannot do half the jobs that the kidneys do themselves and can only really help clear the body of toxins and fluids, but not the rest.

    A transplant is better than dialysis of course, but it may take sometime to get a donor and afterwards, you can never be sure how long it will last. You also have to take immunosuppressive medication for the rest of your life, that also has side effects. This is better than dialysis and can give patients a new lease of life.

    Some of the symptoms that you may have renal failure can be that you pass very little urine at all or that you pass very large volumes of urine. This means that you are passing the required amount, but you are not getting rid of what you need to from your body and so your urine becomes very dilute.

    You may find that you have put on weight and that your feet and ankles are swollen. This is known as pitting oedema. You may feel very tired and this can be due to anaemia. You may feel sick to your stomach and not like eating and this can be due to the build up of toxins in your system. You may get headaches and this can be due to the build up of toxins within your system or due to increased blood pressure that happens in renal failure, due to excess fluid volume within the body generally. You may get body aches generally and can have back and loin pain around the kidney area.

    This is a very extreme picture that I have painted, but from what you have described it sounds as if you may just have the flu.

    If you are that worried, then I would suggest that you try and get an emergency appointment with your doctor. If you can't see him, then see someone else and tell him about your concerns due to previous infections and ask him to do the blood tests that are specifically to check for renal function. If you can't get an appointment and are still worried, then I would suggest that you either go to Urgent Care or the ER, where they will do routine bloods and probably an ultrasound scan of your kidneys. They will also do a urine dip to check for blood, protein and/or glucose to indicate infection and or diabetes.

    I am sure that it is not serious, but get it checked out anyway.

    Hope this helps?

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