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Signs & Symptoms of Bad Kidneys

By Debi Rideout ; Updated July 27, 2017

There are two types of kidney failure: acute renal failure and chronic renal failure. Basically that means that the kidneys have a hard time filtering the body waste that are in the blood, and so it goes into the kidneys instead causing kidney failure. Acute renal failure (ARF) is when the symptoms come on fast within a matter of days or months. It can be curable if caught in time. Chronic renal failure (CRF) happens more slowly, and the symptoms can take years to appear. However, with chronic renal failure, there is a good chance that it can lead to death. That is why it is important to alert a doctor immediately if an individual suspects that she has bad kidneys so it can be treated right away. There are many signs and symptoms of bad kidneys.


One of the major signs and symptoms of having bad kidneys is the change of urine in the body. During the day, the need to urinate will lessen. However, at night a person may need to urinate a lot. An individual may also feel like he may have to go all the time, but there is no output of urine. Plus, there will probably be a change in the color of the urine. It could either be really pale or dark in color.


A person may feel very tired when the kidneys are going into failure. The feeling of being constantly tired is always present. An individual always feels fatigued and drained. That feeling happens even after resting.

Nausea and Vomiting

Nausea is when a person’s stomach feels unsettled. There is a feeling that she may need to vomit. Sometimes that feeling actually does lead to vomiting. A person might find that it is hard to keep any food or fluid down. It is common for people with bad kidneys to have a loss of appetite because of this. This may lead to dehydration, so try to drink lots of fluids.


Another major sign and symptoms of bad kidneys is a bad taste in a person’s mouth. The taste is foul. It can also lead to bad breath. This also causes a loss of appetite because nothing tastes quite right.


There are major issues with an individual’s skin when having bad kidneys. The skin can be itchy. It can be dry. The skin of a person suffering from bad kidneys is usually very pale. A person’s skin may also tend to bruise a lot.

Other Symptoms

People with bad kidneys can have lots of other signs and symptoms, too. One of the signs is when an individual is suddenly irritable, lacks concentration, feels restless and seems to have confusion over things. A person may be in lots of pain in the areas below the ribs, above the waist or on only one side of the back. There can also be numbness or swelling of the legs and feet. Plus, there can be shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches and aches of the muscles.

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