The kidneys are two of the most important organs in the human body. They are responsible for filtering out toxins and waste products as they enter your blood, which is then expelled through the urine. Without functioning kidneys, dangerous complications can occur.
Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys are unable to filter waste from your blood. Kidney trauma, exposure to pollutants or defective medications, dehydration, and many other factors can lead to this condition. It is important to recognize the symptoms of kidney failure so that you can seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Common Symptoms of Kidney Failure
During the early stages of kidney failure, symptoms may not be noticeable, especially for people with chronic kidney disease. In fact, an estimated 90% of people with this condition do not know that they have it.
Early signs of kidney disease may include a decrease in urine output, shortness of breath, and swelling in the legs, ankles, and feet due to fluid retention. As the disease progresses, symptoms become more severe and noticeable.
Symptoms of late-stage kidney failure may include the following.
- Excessive drowsiness or fatigue
- Persistent nausea
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Reduced urine output
- Pain or pressure in the chest
Issues with urination are common in people with kidney failure. During later progressions of this condition, patients may notice unusual and concerning changes in their urine. If you notice urine that is very foamy with lots of bubbles, for example, there may be high levels of protein in it. Excess protein in the urine is an indicator of kidney disease.
The Dangers of Kidney Failure
Kidney failure is a serious medical condition and requires medical intervention. If you are diagnosed with kidney failure, you may need to undergo a kidney transplant, participate in regular dialysis or blood-filtering sessions, and make significant lifestyle modifications to treat this condition.
While these treatment options are available, kidney failure can result in serious complications over time. Many patients experience the following conditions due to kidney disease.
- Bone weakness
- Fluid retention
- Heart disease and failure
- Anemia, or a low red blood cell count
- Hyperkalemia, or elevated potassium levels
- Metabolic acidosis, leading to bone disease or kidney stones
There are five stages of kidney failure. Once a person reaches the final stage, he or she will require a kidney transplant or dialysis in order to live. According to the National Kidney Foundation, people on dialysis can expect to live for 5–10 years following their dialysis; some patients live for over 20–30 years.
Pursuing Legal Action after Kidney Failure
There are many factors that can cause kidney failures, such as comorbidities, infection, the use of drugs and alcohol, or heavy metal poisoning. However, recent revelations have shown that prescription medications, such as Zantac, may also lead to kidney failure. If you experienced kidney failure after taking Zantac or another defective medication, you may be eligible for legal action. In these situations, it is important to consult with an attorney who has experience representing victims of defective medications.
As soon as possible following your kidney failure diagnosis, collect all evidence related to your illness and treatment, as well as the medication that you took. Once you gather this information, speak to a Zantac lawsuit attorney to discuss your legal options.