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Kidney (Renal) Failure: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Your lower back is where you’ll find the kidneys, a pair of organs. Your spine has one kidney on each side. Renal failure happens when your kidneys are unable to adequately filter the waste from your blood.

Your kidneys purify your blood and rid your body of impurities. When you urinate, these poisons are expelled from your bladder. When this fails to function properly, you can develop renal failure. Continue reading to discover all there is to know about kidney failure, including its signs, stages, cures, and outlook.

What is Kidney Failure

When the kidneys stop working adequately, it is known as kidney failure (renal failure), necessitating kidney replacement. Different forms of dialysis or kidney transplantation can replace the kidneys. Here are the conditions that may result in kidney failure:

  • Not enough blood flows through your kidneys to filter it.
  • severe dehydration
  • kidney trauma
  • certain acute and chronic diseases
  • toxic exposure to environmental pollutants or certain medications

Types of Renal Failure/ Kidney Failure

There are five different kinds of renal failure. Acute renal failure occurs when the normal functioning of your kidneys is suddenly failed. Chronic renal failure progresses over time.

The five categories of renal failure include the following:

  • Acute prerenal kidney failure: A lack of circulation to the kidneys may trigger acute and prerenal kidney failure. The kidneys can’t purge toxins from the blood if there isn’t enough blood flow. As soon as the reason for the decreased blood flow is identified, this kind of kidney failure may typically be treated.
  • Acute intrinsic renal failure: Direct trauma to the kidneys, such as a collision or an accident, can cause acute intrinsic kidney failure. Further reasons include toxic overload and ischemia, which deprives the kidneys of oxygen. Ischemia can be spurred on by severe hemorrhaging, shock, renal blood vessel obstruction, or glomerulonephritis, an inflammatory condition that makes the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys expand.
  • Chronic prerenal kidney failure: When the blood flow to the kidneys is inadequate for an extended period of time, the kidneys gradually collapse and lose their ability to function.
  • Chronic intrinsic kidney failure: When the kidneys incur long-term damage from intrinsic renal disease, the following occurs. Intrinsic renal disease establishes when the kidneys are directly harmed, and for as by serious hemorrhaging or a lack of oxygen.
  • Chronic post-renal kidney failure: Urination is restricted due to a persistent obstruction of the urinary system. Pressure is created, which eventually damages the kidneys.

Stages of Kidney Disease

There are five phases of kidney disease. From very moderate (stage 1) to total renal failure (stage 5), these ranges. The symptoms and issues get worse as the stages develop.

Stage 1 kidney failure: This stage is quite gentle. There’s a chance you won’t have any symptoms or obvious consequences. There is some kidney injury. By leading a healthy lifestyle, it is still feasible to control sluggish advancement. This involves maintaining a healthy weight, working out frequently, and abstaining from cigarette use. Maintaining a healthy weight is also crucial. If you have diabetes, it’s imperative to manage your blood sugar levels.

Stage 2 kidney failure: Although stage 2 kidney disease is still regarded as a minor variety, it may be easier to spot noticeable problems like protein in the urine or actual physical damage to the kidneys. In stage 2, the same lifestyle strategies that were effective in stage 1 are still applied. Speaking with your doctor about additional risk factors, such as heart disease, inflammation, and blood disorders, is a good idea as they may cause the condition to advance more quickly.

Stage 3 kidney failure: Your kidneys aren’t functioning as well as they should at this point. Stage 3 renal disease is sometimes separated into stages 3a and 3b. The difference between the two is made by doctors using a blood test that gauges the amount of waste products in your body. At this point, symptoms might become more noticeable. Back pain, variations in urination frequency, and hand- and foot-swelling are also possible symptoms.

Changing one’s lifestyle may help symptoms get better. In order to manage underlying disorders that could hasten kidney failure, your doctor may also suggest taking drugs.

Stage 4 kidney failure: Kidney disease in this stage is categorized as moderate to severe. Although the kidneys aren’t functioning adequately, you aren’t yet in full renal failure. Complications include anemia, high blood pressure, and bone disease can manifest as symptoms. Still essential is leading a healthy lifestyle. Your doctor will probably create a treatment strategy to mitigate renal impairment.

Stage 5 kidney failure: Your kidneys are failing completely or are on the verge of it at stage 5. Vomiting and nausea, as well as other symptoms including difficulty breathing and itching skin, will be obvious signs that the kidneys are no longer functioning. You’ll require regular dialysis or a kidney transplant at this point.

Helpful- Who Is the Right Person for Kidney Transplant

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

Early on in kidney illness, a lot of patients have few or no symptoms. Even though you feel great, chronic kidney disease (CKD) can nonetheless harm your body. Symptoms of CKD and renal failure differ from person to person. One or more of the following symptoms could indicate that your kidneys aren’t functioning properly:

  • Fatigue.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Confusion and trouble concentrating.
  • Swelling (edema), particularly around your ankles, hands, or face.
  • Peeing more often.
  • Muscle spasms.
  • Dry and itchy skin.
  • Poor appetite and the food may taste metallic.

Read Also: Success Rate of Kidney Transplants in India

Causes of Kidney/ Renal Failure

The most frequent causes of chronic kidney disease and renal failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar levels, can result from uncontrolled diabetes. Your kidneys and other organs might be harmed by persistently high blood sugar. 

Read about kidney transplants in India for more information.

Blood flows brusquely through the blood vessels in your body when your blood pressure is high. The additional force over time and in the absence of treatment can harm the tissue in your kidneys. Kidney failure typically takes time to develop. CKD can also be brought on by additional factors, such as:

  • Polycystic kidney disease (PKD)
  • Glomerular diseases
  • Lupus.

Kidney failure might also occur suddenly due to an unanticipated cause. Your kidneys experience acute renal failure (also known as acute kidney damage) when they unexpectedly stop working. Acute renal failure might appear within a few days or hours. It’s frequently transient. Acute renal failure is typically caused by:

Causes of Kidney (Renal) Failure

  • Autoimmune kidney diseases.
  • Certain medications.
  • Severe dehydration.
  • A urinary tract obstruction.
  • Untreated systemic diseases, such as heart disease or liver disease.

Helpful:- Life After A Kidney Transplant

Kidney failure or CKD is not necessarily the result of these health issues. Kidney failure can occasionally result from a kidney condition known as acute kidney injury (AKI). This kind of kidney failure occurs quickly, typically within two days, and is more frequent in patients who are already being treated in hospitals for other medical issues. Acute kidney failure or acute renal failure are other names for AKI. 

How to keep your kidneys functioning as long as feasible might be discussed with your doctor.

Diagnosis For Kidney Failure (Renal Failure)

Kidney failure can be identified by your doctor using a number of tests. Following below are some of the most popular tests:

  1. Urinalysis: In order to check for anything unexpected, such as an unusual protein or sugar that has leaked into your urine, your doctor may request a sample of your urine. In order to check for red and white blood cells, high levels of germs, and large concentrations of tube-shaped particles known as cellular casts, your doctor may also examine the urine sediment.
  2. Measuring the volume of urine: One of the simplest tests to help identify renal failure is measuring urine output. For instance, decreased urine production may indicate kidney disease is brought on by a urinary obstruction, which can be brought on by a number of diseases or traumas.
  3. Blood specimens: Blood tests to measure kidney-filtering chemicals such as blood urea nitrogen and creatinine may be prescribed by your doctor. These values may suggest acute renal failure if they rise quickly.
  4. Imaging: Images of your kidneys and urinary system are provided through exams including CT scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds, allowing doctors to look for blockages or other issues.
  5. Tissue from the kidney: The presence of odd deposits, scarring, or infectious organisms is checked in tissue samples. The tissue sample will be obtained by your doctor during a kidney biopsy.

Treatments For Kidney Failure/ Renal Failure

Treatment is necessary to keep you alive if you have renal failure. Kidney/renal failure can be treated in two ways.

Dialysis: Dialysis is a medical procedure that purifies your blood using a machine. Here are two different kinds of dialysis:

  1. Hemodialysis: Hemodialysis involves having your blood routinely cleaned by a machine. At a hospital or dialysis clinic, hemodialysis is often performed three to four days per week.
  2. Peritoneal dialysis: A catheter is inserted into your abdominal lining and a bag containing a dialysis solution is attached to it during peritoneal dialysis. Your stomach lining is exposed to the solution, which collects waste and surplus fluid before draining back into the bag. Peritoneal dialysis can occasionally be administered at home.

Kidney Transplant: An operation in which a healthy kidney replaced the diseased one. Check out Kidney transplant in India for more information.

  1. A deceased donor kidney transplant involves surgery to remove a healthy kidney from a person who has recently passed away.
  2. Having a healthy kidney from a living donor through surgery is known as a “living donor kidney transplant.” 

Kidney Transplant Podcast

Best Kidney Transplant Hospitals in India

Bottom Line

When the kidneys are unable to properly filter blood and eliminate waste from the body, renal failure ensues. The illness may manifest quickly or gradually worsen over time. Heart disease, bone loss, anemia, and other problems might result from kidney failure. Typically, dialysis and lifestyle changes are part of the treatment.

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