DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Kidney failure. Scratch marks on the skin of an 83-year-old man with uraemia, symptoms of kidney (renal) failure. Symptoms of kidney failure only appear when the failure is advanced. Itching is a common symptom, and the patient may cause damage to their skin as they scratch themselves. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and retention of fluids causing swelling (oedema). In elderly patients, the kidney failure may be chronic, due to long-term problems such as high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus. Dialysis, or transplantation of the damaged kidney, will be required. Dialysis replaces the function of the kidneys, which is to clean the blood of metabolic waste products.
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