Signs and Symptoms of Uraemia



If we examine the signs and symptoms of the uremic effects on the body, we see a wide range of manifestations across different systems.

  • Neurological effects include apathy, lethargy, impaired cognition, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, decreased level of consciousness, and even seizures and coma. These symptoms result from the accumulation of toxins that affect brain function.
  • Respiratory system symptoms involve pulmonary edema, pleuritis, and Kussmaul's respirations, which are deep and labored breathing patterns often seen in severe metabolic acidosis.
  • Cardiovascular effects can include hypertension, edema, and coronary artery disease. These issues arise due to fluid retention and the impact of uremic toxins on blood vessels and heart function.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms include anorexia, nausea, vomiting, gastroenteritis, abdominal pain, hiccups, and peptic ulcers. These symptoms occur because uremia affects the digestive tract's mucous lining and motility.
  • Renal system effects are characterised by oliguria (reduced urine output), proteinuria (presence of protein in urine), hematuria (blood in urine), nocturia (excessive urination at night), and anuria (absence of urine output). These symptoms directly reflect the impaired function of the kidneys in filtering and excreting waste products.

Understanding these varied symptoms across multiple systems is crucial for diagnosing and managing uremia effectively, highlighting the importance of comprehensive patient evaluation.

CPD time1m
First Published04 June 2019
Updated29 June 2019
29 June 2025
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