Kidney Failure

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure occurs when there is a sudden or rapid loss in the function of your kidneys, where they are unable to balance fluids and electrolytes in your body and remove waste and substances as they should. Rapid is defined as less than 48 hours. There are a number of different causes of kidney failure, most of which are listed below to help you prevent this from happening.

Causes of Kidney Failure

There are a variety of medical conditions and risk factors that might lead to kidney failure. This includes having acute tubular necrosis, autoimmune kidney disease, blood clot from cholesterol, blood clotting disorders that affect the kidney’s blood vessels, decreased blood flow from a burn, dehydration, hemorrhage, injury, serious illness, surgery, or septic shock, infections that injure the kidney such as septicemia or acute pyelonephritis, pregnancy complications, or a urinary tract blockage.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

If you pay attention to your body, you will notice certain signs and symptoms pointing toward kidney failure. Signs include bloody stools, a metallic taste in the mouth, easily bruising, mood swings, decreased appetite, decreased sensation in your hands and feet, fatigue, flank pain, hand tremors, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, persistent hiccups, nausea or vomiting, prolonged bleeding, seizures, shortness of breath, slow and sluggish movements, swelling from your body retaining liquid, swelling in your feet, ankles, or legs, or urination changes such as no urine, excessive urine, or other changes.

Diagnosing Kidney Failure

For Proper diagnosis of kidney failure, your physician will first perform an examination, followed by asking you a series of questions. They will look for crackles in your lungs, abnormal heart and lung sounds, heart murmur, and look for body swelling. Tests usually ordered include a BUN, urinalysis, creatinine clearance, serum creatinine, and serum potassium. You may also have an abdominal or kidney ultrasound as well as an MRI, CT scan or X-ray to look for a blockage.

Treating Kidney Failure

The main purpose of treating kidney failure is to help your kidneys regain their normal function and prevent fluid from building up in your body. You will usually need to stay in the hospital for the first few days. This is to monitor the amount of liquid you drink and how much you urinate out. You will be given a different diet and medications to help normalize kidney function. Surgery is not needed for kidney failure unless it progresses further but you may need dialysis.

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