Kidney Failure - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention, Treatment

Kidney failure

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Kidney failure

Also called end-stage renal disease, it occurs when one or both kidneys stop functioning properly on their own. But in chronic condition, it progresses slowly and worsens the conditions, leading to kidney failure and making it impossible to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant.

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What is Kidney Failure?

Also called end-stage renal disease, it occurs when one or both kidneys stop functioning properly on their own. But in chronic conditions, it progresses slowly and worsens the conditions, leading to kidney failure and making it impossible to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant.

What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure does not happen overnight. Certain health conditions, if left untreated, can cause kidney failure. Some of these conditions that are responsible for kidney failure include the following:

  1. Diabetes, when not managed properly, leads to uncontrolled blood sugar levels, which causes kidney damage.
  2. High blood pressure causes damage to kidney tissues.
  3. Autoimmune kidney diseases, such as lupus and IgA nephropathy.
  4. Severe dehydration
  5. Urinary tract obstruction
  6. Drug abuse
  7. Uncontrolled systemic diseases, such as heart or liver disease.
  8. Genetic conditions such as polycystic kidney disease, where a fluid-filled sac grows inside your kidneys.
  9. Not enough blood flow to both of your kidneys.
  10. Inflammation and sudden blockage due to kidney stones.
  11. Blood clot around your kidney
  12. Heavy metal poisoning

Risk factors

Factors that increase the risk of kidney failure include:

  1. Cardiovascular diseases
  2. Obesity and diabetes
  3. High blood pressure, is the second leading cause of kidney failure. People over 60 years of age are prone to high blood pressure and diabetes and are at a higher risk of kidney failure.
  4. Family history of kidney disease
  5. Abnormal kidney structure
  6. If you have a history of acute kidney injury, you are at a higher risk of kidney failure.

What are Symptoms of Kidney Failure?

Following are the signs and symptoms of kidney failure:

  1. Itching and rashes, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, fever, nose bleeds
  2. Swelling in ankles and feet 
  3. Urinating too much or too little
  4. Trouble in breathing and sleeping
  5. Abdominal and back pain
  6. Poor appetite
  7. Diarrhoea 
  8. Seizures
  9. Coma

How is Kidney Failure Diagnosed?

You will be asked for several tests by your doctor to diagnose kidney failure. The most common tests include:

  1. Your doctor will do a urinalysis to test anything unusual, which includes atypical proteins or sugars present in your urine.
  2. Your doctor will also perform a urinary sediment examination to look for red and white blood cells and will also do a urine measurement test to diagnose kidney failure.
  3. There will be blood tests to measure the substances, such as creatinine and blood urea nitrogen, that are filtered by your kidneys.
  4. Tests like ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging, and computer tomography scans will be done.
  5. The kidney tissue sample will be taken for screening.

What are the Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure treatment involves the following treatment modalities:

Dialysis: You will have two options while you undergo dialysis:

  1. Haemodialysis
    1. The machine will filter the waste using a solution and place the clean blood back into your body.
    2. This method is used three times per week and takes 3-4 hours each time.
  2.  Peritoneal dialysis
    1. The doctor will place a solution in your abdomen, which will be later removed using a catheter.

Lifestyle changes:

  1. Increase your caloric intake and decrease your protein consumption.
  2. Monitor your weight change
  3. Involve a diet low in sodium and potassium.
  4. Limit intake of foods such as bananas, tomatoes, oranges, chocolate, and spinach as they have too much sodium and potassium.

What are the Benefits of treating Kidney Failure?

Increases quality of life

Updated on : 29 March 2023

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

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Charu Shrivastava

Charu Shrivastava

BSc. Biotechnology I MDU and MSc in Medical Biochemistry (HIMSR, Jamia Hamdard)

2 Years Experience

Skilled in SEO and passionate about creating informative and engaging medical content. Her proofreading and content writing for medical websites is impressive. She creates informative and engaging content that educ...View More

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