What Is Renal Failures ?
Renal failure refers to temporary or permanent damage to the kidneys that results in loss of normal kidney function. There are two different types of renal failure - acute and chronic. Acute renal failure has an abrupt onset and is potentially reversible. Chronic failure progresses slowly over at least three months and can lead to permanent renal failure. The causes, symptoms, treatments, and outcomes of acute and chronic are different.
What Is End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) ?
End-stage renal disease is when the kidneys permanently fail to work.
End-stage kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to function at a level needed for day-to-day life. It usually occurs when chronic kidney disease has worsened to the point at which kidney function is less than 10% of normal.
ESRD almost always follows chronic kidney disease. A person may have gradual worsening of kidney function for 10 - 20 years or more before progressing to ESRD.
Patients who have reached this stage need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
The most common causes of ESRD in the U.S. are diabetes and high blood pressure. See Chronic kidney disease for a complete list of causes.
What Are The Symptoms Of Renal Failure ?
The Symptoms for acute and chronic renal failure may be different. The following are the most common symptoms of acute and chronic renal failure. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently.
Symptoms may include:
- Diarrhea Or Bloody Diarrhea
- Poor Appetite
- Severe Vomiting
- Abdominal Pain
- Back Pain
- Muscle Cramps
- No Urine Output Or High Urine Output
- History Of Recent Infection (A Risk Factor For Acute Renal Failure)
- Pale Skin
- History Of Taking Certain Medications (A Risk Factor For Acute Renal Failure)
- History Of Trauma (A Risk Factor For Acute Renal Failure)
- Swelling Of The Tissues
- Inflammation Of The Eye
- Detectable Abdominal Mass
- Exposure To Heavy Metals Or Toxic Solvents (A Risk Factor For Acute Renal Failure)
Treatment for acute and chronic renal failure:
Specific treatment for renal failure will be determined by your physician based on:
- Your age, overall health, and medical history
- Extent of the disease
- Type of disease (acute or chronic)
- Underlying cause of the disease
- Your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- Expectations for the course of the disease
- Your opinion or preference
Treatment may include:
- Administration of intravenous (iv) fluids in large volumes (to replace depleted blood volume)
- Diuretic therapy or medications (to increase urine output)
- Close monitoring of important electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and calcium
- Medications (to control blood pressure)
- Specific diet requirements
In some cases, patients may develop severe electrolyte disturbances and toxic levels of certain waste products normally eliminated by the kidneys. Patients may also develop fluid overload. Dialysis may be indicated in these cases.
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