What are the symptoms of kidney failure?
Symptoms of kidney failure may begin so slowly that you don't notice them right away.
Healthy kidneys prevent the buildup of wastes and extra fluid in your body and balance the salts and minerals in your blood—such as calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. Your kidneys also make hormones that help control blood pressure, make red blood cells, and keep your bones strong.
Kidney failure means your kidneys no longer work well enough to do these jobs and, as a result, other health problems develop. As your kidney function goes down, you may
- have swelling, usually in your legs, feet, or ankles
- get headaches
- feel itchy
- feel tired during the day and have sleep problems at night
- feel sick to your stomach, lose your sense of taste, not feel hungry, or lose weight
- make little or no urine
- have muscle cramps, weakness, or numbness
- have pain, stiffness, or fluid in your joints
- feel confused, have trouble focusing, or have memory problems
Following your treatment plan can help you avoid or address most of these symptoms. Your treatment plan may include regular dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant, a special eating plan, physical activity, and medicines.
Essential Medical Documentation of Kidney Failure for Disability Benefits:
- How far can you walk?
- How long can you stand?
- How much can you lift and carry?
- Are you easily fatigued? What physical activity is your limit?
- How frequent and severe are symptoms of nausea, headaches, cramps?
- Have you had dialysis or are scheduled to have dialysis?
- Do you have difficulty with concentration and focusing?
- Do you have problems with your memory?
- Do you have periods where you are confused?
SSA utilizes the term "Impairments" (and resulting "limitations" - why you cannot work) are the essential bits of information that must be clearly and consistently documented throughout your medical history by the treating sources (medical doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists).
SSA additionally utilizes the term "Residual Functional Capacity" (RFC); this is a key concept related to the resulting physical and/or mental impairments from conditions for which the disability claim is based upon and the impact upon ability to work.
SSA has its own forms that are used for Physical RFC here and for Mental RFC here. These forms can be filled out by the treating source who has the opportunity to examine the patient and understand the limitations which result from his/her condition and thereby document with specificity in the language of SSA disability.