When kidneys function at less than 10 percent of normal it is diagnosed as end stage renal failure (ESRD). Kidneys will fail to remove waste products, regulate electrolytes or concentrate urine. In the United States, end stage renal failure is a common consequence of diabetes.
Acute symptoms of renal failure include abdominal pain, back pain, nosebleeds, diarrhea, fever and fatigue. Patients may also have a high urine output or no urine output at all.
Chronic symptoms of end stage renal failure include bone pain, recurring urinary tract infections, incontinence, bad breath and a change in mental alertness.
Some symptoms of renal failure are both acute and chronic. They include vomiting, poor appetite, muscle cramps and pale skin.
To determine if symptoms are due to end stage renal failure the patient may have a blood or urine test, a chest x-ray, renal ultrasound or a kidney biopsy.
Over time ESRD can cause anemia, high blood pressure, bone disease and nerve damage. If treated properly by a physician, people with ESRD can feel better and live with the condition for many years.