Renal Failure or Kidney Failure or Renal Insufficiency

Renal Failure or Kidney Failure (formerly called renal insufficiency) is a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins and waste products from the blood. The kidneys, which serve as the body’s natural filtration system, gradually lose their ability to remove fluids and waste products (urea) from the bloodstream. They also fail to regulate certain chemicals in the bloodstream, and deposit protein into the urine. Renal failure or Kidney Failure is also described as a decrease in Glomerular Filtration Rate. Biochemically, an Elevated Serum Creatinine Level typically detects renal failure.

Causes of Renal Failure or Kidney Failure

  • Diabetes.   Kidney Disease is not common during the first ten years of diabetes, if diabetes is not well controlled, excess sugar (glucose) can accumulate in the blood. Glucose can damage the glomeruli. The risk of chronic kidney failure is higher among patients with Diabetes Type I. Kidney Disease more commonly occurs between years 15 to 25 after diagnosis of diabetes.

    Chronic Renal Failure
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure).  High Blood Pressure can damage the glomeruli. The kidneys can become stressed and ultimately sustain permanent damage from blood pushing through them at an excessive level of pressure over a long period.
  • Obstructed urine flow.  Blocked Urine Flow increases pressure on the kidneys, and undermines their function. Possible causes include an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or a tumor.
  • Kidney Diseases. Polycystic Kidney Disease, Pyelonephritis, or Glomerulonephritis can result in Kidney Failure.
  • Kidney Artery Stenosis.  The Renal Artery narrows or is blocked before it enters the kidney.
  • Certain Toxins. Fuels, solvents, and lead can lead to Kidney Failure. Even some types of jewelry have toxins, which can lead to chronic kidney failure.

    Chronic Renal Failure
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosis.  The bodies own immune system attacks the kidneys as though they were foreign tissue.
  • Malaria and Yellow Fever
  • Some Medications. Overuse of drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen.
  • Drug Abuse. Use of drugs such as heroin or cocaine can result in Kidney Failure.
  • Injury to Kidneys

Symptoms of Renal Failure or Kidney Failure

  • Anemia
  • Sudden change in bodyweight
  • Protein in urine
  • More frequent urination, especially at night
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in urine output
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Hiccups
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain, if fluid accumulates around the lining of the heart
  • Shortness of breath, if fluid accumulates in the lungs
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control

Diagnosis of Kidney Failure

  • Blood Test will assess the levels of creatinine, blood urea nitrogen (BUN), uric acid, phosphate, sodium, and potassium in the blood.
  • Urine samples will also be collected, usually over a 24-hour period, to assess protein loss.
  • X Ray, MRI, Computed Tomography Scan, Ultrasound, Renal Biopsy, and/or Arteriogram of the kidneys may be employed to determine the cause of kidney failure and level of remaining kidney function.
  • X Rays and Ultrasound of the bladder and/or ureters may also be taken.

Treatment of Kidney Failure

  1. 1   Physician will work to slow or control the disease or condition that is causing Kidney Failure.
  • People with Chronic Kidney Failure may experience worsening high blood pressure. Your doctor may recommend medications to lower your blood pressure.
  • People with chronic kidney failure often experience high levels of bad cholesterol, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Statins may be recommended to lower Cholesterol.
  • Anemia Treatment.  Physician may recommend supplements of the hormone erythropoietin, sometimes with added iron.
  • Medications called diuretics can help maintain the balance of fluids in your body.
  • Physician may prescribe calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent weak bones and lower your risk of fracture.
  • To reduce the load on kidneys, physician may recommend eating less protein in diet.
  1. 2   Chronic kidney failure is an irreversible condition. Hemodialysis, Peritoneal Dialysis, or Kidney Transplantation is employed to replace the lost function of the kidneys
  • Hemodialysis. Hemodialysis Patients have need of treatment three times a week, for an average of three to four hours per dialysis “run” depending on the type of dialyzer used and their current physical condition. The treatment involves circulating the patient’s blood outside of the body through an extracorporeal circuit (ECC), or dialysis circuit.
  • Peritoneal dialysis. the patient’s peritoneum, or lining of the abdomen, acts as a blood filter. A catheter is surgically inserted into the patient’s abdomen. During treatment, the catheter is used to fill the abdominal cavity with dialysate. Waste products and excess fluids move from the patient’s blood-stream into the dialysate solution. After a waiting period of six to 24 hours, depending on the treatment method used, the waste-filled dialysate is drained from the abdomen, and replaced with clean dialysate.
  • Kidney Transplant. Kidney transplantation involves surgically attaching a functioning kidney, or graft, from an organ donor  to a patient . When the new kidney is transplanted, the patient’s existing, diseased kidneys may or may not be removed, depending on the circumstances surrounding the kidney failure.

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