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Most symptoms of
                                                                             kidney failure can

                                                                          be identified and well

                                    Uraemia                              Itchy skin
          Symptoms and
                                    Uraemia is a serious life-           Itchy skin is a common symptom of
          treatment of
                                    threatening complication of          kidney failure, usually due to high
          kidney failure
                                    kidney failure. It occurs when       mineral blood levels, like phosphate.
                                    urea and other waste products        Medications to improve mineral balance
          You may experience
                                    build-up in the body because your    and reduce nerve impulses, as well as
          these symptoms at
                                    kidneys are unable to remove         skin creams to treat dry skin, can help.
          different times and
                                    them. These wastes become
          their severity may
                                    poisonous to the body at high        Lack of energy and tiredness
          vary. Your healthcare
                                    levels. Uraemia can make food        The kidneys make erythropoetin (EPO),
          team are experts in
                                    taste differently, often described   a hormone that helps the bone marrow
          managing and
                                    as leaving a metallic taste in your  to make red blood cells. As kidney
          reducing these
                                    mouth. This can turn you off         function declines, the amount of EPO
          symptoms so that
                                    certain foods and can cause you      produced by the kidneys decreases and
          you remain
                                    to lose weight. Uraemia can also     the number of red blood cells is
                                    cause a sweet ammonia smell on       reduced. This is called anaemia.
                                    your breath. Mouthwashes and
                                    good oral hygiene can help these     Anaemia can cause tiredness,
                                    symptoms.                            sleepiness and sometimes
                                                                         breathlessness. EPO is available as an
                                    Nausea and vomiting                  injection and regular doses may
                                    Nausea and vomiting can happen       improve your energy levels and reduce
                                    as your kidney function declines     other anaemia-related symptoms. Your
                                    and uraemic increases. The renal     renal doctor will also treat other causes
                                    dietician will help you to get the   of anaemia such as low iron, folate or
                                    nutrients and calories you need.     vitamin B12 levels. Most people who
                                    Your doctor can prescribe            use EPO are also given iron (either by
                                    medications to treat the nausea      injection or as tablets) to prevent low
                                    and vomiting.                        iron levels.

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