10 Common Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure


Acute kidney failure is related to your kidneys, which are suddenly unable to filter fluids and waste from your blood. Acute kidney failure is also referred to as renal kidney failure (ARF). This condition can be life-threatening or fatal.

Acute kidney failure is a common condition affecting more than 200,000 each year. Although, it usually happens to people who are already ill and/or in the hospital. Symptoms of acute kidney failure often are subtle or do not present.

Symptom 1: Decreased Urine Output

Do you have to urinate less often? When you do, do you produce less urine than usual?

Ideally, you should generate 30 to 50 ounces or urine each day. Those with acute kidney failure only produce about a third to less than half of that amount.

Symptom 2: Swollen Legs

Do your legs, ankles, and feet swell? Acute kidney failure definitely causes your legs and ankles to swell due to fluid retention.

However, other conditions also cause such swelling, including heart and circulation issues, being overweight or inactive, and wearing restrictive socks or stockings.

Symptom 3: Shortness of Breath

When fluid builds up in your lungs due to acute kidney failure, you may have difficulty catching a complete breath or have a shortness of breath. If you are unable to breath normally, seek medical care.

However, acute kidney failure is occasionally mistaken as asthma or heart failure.

Symptom 4: Drowsiness/Fatigue

Do you often feel drowsy? Are your movements slow or sluggish? Acute kidney failure can cause you to be anemic, which results in fatigue.

Almost all who suffer from acute kidney failure report feeling a lack of energy and feeling tired all the time, even after simple and basic activities.

Symptom 5: Nausea

Do you feel nauseated? The major build-up of waste in your blood due to acute kidney failure makes you feel nauseated.

Acute kidney failure cannot only cause you to feel nauseated, but even make you vomit. As a result, you may lose your appetite.

Symptom 6: Excess Acid in Blood and Tissues

Too much acid in your body can affect your other organs from working properly, including your heart and brain. 

As part of acute kidney failure, creatinine and urea accumulate in your blood. As a result, many secondary conditions develop affecting electrolytes and your urinary tract.

Symptom 7: Dehydration

Dehydration can cause acute kidney failure and kidney stones. Make sure to regularly drink water and other fluids.

Dehydration also causes you to lose strength and stamina. You shrink drink about 6 to 8 glasses (48-64 ounces) of water every day.

Symptom 8: Bloody Stools

With acute kidney failure, you may experience bloody stools or bloody diarrhea. You may also have abdominal pain.

Those with kidney disease often experience gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding.

Symptom 9: Bruise Easily

Those with acute kidney failure easily get bruises over their body. With this condition, it makes your capillaries fragile and thins skins and tissues that protect vessels.

You get a bruise if small blood vessels near your skin’s surface break. Blood leaks around the area, causing a discoloration on your body.

Symptom 10: Breath Odor

Do you ever wonder why you have bad breath? You know you did not recently eat onions or other food that would cause it.

You may have an ammonia, metallic, or fishy taste in your mouth. Acute kidney failure can cause waste to accumulate in your body resulting in bad breath, changes in taste, or an aversion to specific foods.