Kidney failure – Understanding the early symptoms of kidney failure, different causes, how to protect your kidneys from it and treatment alternatives
Kidney failure or renal failure is a condition where the kidney fails to purify the waste from the blood and hence fails to function adequately. The two major problems that lead to kidney failure are acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease. Both these problems are a result of many other medical problems already in the patient’s body. This failure is usually detected by an increase in secretion of the serum creatinine, which is also biologically described as decrease in the glomerular filtration rate. Also, a low rate of urine production is observed in such cases and blood and protein loss may be noted as well. Long term kidney problems may also lead to cardiovascular disease.
There may also be problems like:
- Elevated potassium levels
- Elevated acid levels
- Decreased calcium levels
- Elevated phosphate levels
- Possibly Anemia
Causes of Kidney Failure:
There are several causes of kidney failure which can occur and are deadly. The kidneys help filter the waste from the blood while maintaining balance of minerals in your body. If the kidney stops working, these build up in your body and can be baneful. It may take years to know that some damage is being done to the kidneys because the symptoms are usually silent and hard to detect.
High blood pressure and diabetes are the two main causes of kidney failure. Chronic kidney disease can also be inherited from the family and if there is a long history of kidney patients in your family, you have more chances of developing the same sooner or later. Polycystic kidney disease is a genetic disorder where cysts grow in the kidneys and replace the mass of the kidneys affecting their functioning.
When kidney diseases are found in children, their growth is unusual and is accompanied by back pain and vomiting. Children should visit the doctor time and again to find the possible causes of such a problem and take care of the same.
The other causes of kidney failure consist of either trauma or poison. Moreover, the overuse of certain medicines such as antibiotics like Streptomycin, pain killers like Aspirin and Ibuprofen, and blood pressure medicines can lead to chronic kidney diseases leading to a complete failure of the kidney. Insufficient amount of water in the body causing dehydration can also be a cause of kidney failure in a long term.
There are umpteen causes of kidney failure which include a long term kidney or liver disease, heart failure, obesity, heart or belly surgery, bone marrow transplant, tumor, an injury or an enlarged prostate gland.
Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Failure:
The inducing signs of kidney failure consist of:
- Decreasing count of red blood cells
- High blood pressure
- Very little urine formation
- Swelling in legs and feet
- Less appetite
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Chest pain
- Vomiting, fever and nausea
- Restlessness and queasy
- Pain in the lower back
While some patients do have the abovementioned symptoms before a kidney failure actually occurs, others might not feel the starting symptoms of a chronic kidney problem that might lead to a complete kidney failure. However, if you feel that you are having some pain in the kidney region and it’s hard for you to urinate and if your urine is red in color, it is also best to get the kidney function test done.
Additional symptoms of a chronic kidney problem that might lead to kidney failure also include weakness, breathlessness, lassitude and confusion. Endless efforts to control diabetes and high blood pressure are the best way to preclude chronic disease and its progression to the kidney failure symptoms.
As and when the kidney begins to fail, you initiate to generate symptoms related to losing the normal functions the kidney performs. These symptoms generally don’t start until you are about to lose the kidneys.
Unfortunately kidney failure is a progressive disease and many people’s kidney will eventually worsen with time. Kidney failure at the last stage is called End-Stage Renal Disease and in such a case the patient must undergo the transplantation procedure or dialysis.
The dialysis process generally takes place 3 times a week for about 4 hours at a time. The dialysis machine cleans your blood, takes off the remnants and makes you live a normal painless life.