Can kidney failure cause death?

Can kidney failure cause death?

Understanding the symptoms associated with the different stages of kidney failure is critical for early detection and intervention. Regular monitoring, lifestyle changes and compliance with medical advice can significantly influence the progression of kidney disease.


Stage 1: Kidney damage with normal or increased glomerular filtration rate (GFR):

In the initial stages, individuals may not experience noticeable symptoms. Kidney damage is present, but the kidneys can still effectively filter the blood. Signs that may be observed include:

Blood in the urine (hematuria): Trace amounts of blood may be detected in the urine. Proteinuria: Leakage of protein into the urine, indicating early damage to the kidneys' filtering units. These symptoms must be addressed promptly to prevent further progression of the condition.

Stage 2: Mild decrease in GFR:

As kidney function begins to decline, individuals may begin to experience more pronounced symptoms:

Swelling: Edema usually occurs in the ankles and legs because the body retains excess fluid. Fatigue: A general feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. Changes in urination: Increased frequency of urination or difficulty urinating may occur. Early intervention and lifestyle changes can help control symptoms and slow the progression of kidney damage.

Stage 3: Moderate decrease in GFR:

This stage is divided into two sub-stages (3A and 3B) with progressively more severe symptoms:

Increased swelling: Edema becomes more noticeable and may extend to the face and hands. High blood pressure: High blood pressure often develops or worsens. Anemia: A decrease in red blood cells causing fatigue and weakness. Bone problems: Kidney failure can affect mineral balance and lead to bone disease. During this stage, medical intervention, dietary changes, and medications are critical to controlling symptoms and slowing the progression of kidney disease.

Stage 4: Severe reduction in GFR:

In this advanced stage, kidney function is significantly impaired and symptoms become more severe:

Severe swelling: Edema is widespread and may affect the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Nausea and Vomiting: The accumulation of waste products can cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Itching: A buildup of toxins in the blood may cause itching on the skin. Sleep disorders: Trouble sleeping and restless legs. Treatment options during this stage often involve more intensive medical intervention, including dialysis or kidney transplantation.

Stage 5: End-Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD):

Also called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), this stage is characterized by complete or near-total loss of kidney function. Symptoms include:

Severe fatigue: Extreme tiredness and drowsiness. Confusion: Cognitive difficulties due to accumulation of toxins. Decreased urination: The amount of urine is significantly reduced or stops completely. At this point, renal replacement therapy (such as dialysis or kidney transplantation) is necessary for survival.