Kidney Failure-Renal Failure

Kidney failure also known as renal failure is the failure condition of the kidney to excrete waste products from the body.


Kidney is the main excretory organ in the body. Every man as a pair of kidney`s. The main function of kidney is to excrete all the unwanted waste products and toxins from the blood out of the body. This process of excretion is troubled in kidney failure. The kidney forms the hormones responsible for the strong bone and clean blood. Failure in these processes makes excess retention of waste fluid in the body leading to kidney failure or renal failure.


The two main categories of renal failure are:


  1. Acute kidney failure – now called as acute renal injury. This is the primary stage or the first stage of kidney failure in which the failure occurs suddenly or rapidly. Inequality is seen in the electrolyte balance of the body. Arresting the progression of underlying causes and reversing is possible.
  1. Chronic kidney failure – now called as the chronic renal disease. This is the chronic stage of failure where there is continued loss of kidney functions. The condition is progressive and irreversible.

Risk factors and causes:


Acute kidney failure:


The cause for acute kidney failure is the sudden scarcity in the normal blood supply to kidney to carry out the excretory process for extended period of time. Various risk factors for this cause are as follow


  • Acute tubular necrosis – this is the damage in the tubular cells of the kidney.


  • Acute nephritic syndrome – the GLOMERULI of the kidney is infected with associated disorders.


  • Direct infections of kidney – any infection targeting directly the kidney and prolonged infection can lead to acute failure.


  • Low blood pressure – decrease in blood pressure decrease the blood supply and oxygen supply to the kidney and cells begin to die.


  • Urinary tract infections – infection of the pathway of urine flow. Mainly the upper urinary tract infection (PYELONEPHRITIS) occurring frequently lead to acute kidney failure.


  • Urinary tract disturbances – due to the stone formation or tumors or enlarged prostrate.


  • Pregnancy crisis – during pregnancy the physiological changes occur in renal and systemic hemodynamic leading to change in the renal function and altered electrolyte.


  • Blood clot in the kidney blood vessels


Chronic kidney failure:


The cause for chronic kidney failure is continual and slow decline in kidney function due to various risk factors as follows


  • Ageing process – as we age the kidney function reduces its functional capacity.


  • Diabetes – increase in blood sugar damages the blood vessels supplying the kidney and reduce the function of the kidney. This is the most common cause for chronic failure.


  • Hypertension – this is the next most common cause for chronic kidney failure. The increase in blood pressure will naturally damage the functions of kidney


  • Chronic GLOMERULONEPHRITIS – a long term inflammation affecting the GLOMERULI of the kidney.


  • Atherosclerosis – this is the blockages in the blood vessels supplying the kidneys affecting the kidney function.


  • Unwanted toxin collection – due to inability to excrete wastes from the body.


  • stumbling block in bladder


  • drug induced side effect






  • Decreased urine formation – due to reduction in the process of excretion and blood flow.
  • Frequent urination especially at night.


  • Lack of sensation.


  • fatigue(tired)


  • high blood pressure


  • mental confusion


  • Generalized swelling and swelling in hand and legs.


  • hiccups


  • bad breath


  • nose bleeds


  • blood seen in stool


  • pain in hip region




  • This has the same symptoms of the acute failure.


  • Loss of sleep usually of disturbed sleeping pattern.


  • Severe headache.


  • Frequent urination but less than normal quantity.


  • Unusual loss of weight.


  • Loss of desire to eat.




The doctors examine the heart and lung sounds by stethoscope and check for their abnormalities.


The kidney structure and urinary tract obstruction can be seen through CT scan, MRI scan, and ultrasound.


Kidney failure is easily detected by the blood and urine tests.


The blood test reveals the level of BUN and CREATININE. The level of CREATININE shows the exact GLOMERULAR FILTERATION RATE (GFR). This GFR shows whether kidney is functioning or not and the remaining capabilities.


Blood test also reveals the level of calcium, potassium, sodium, bicarbonates and red blood cells.


Urine test show the excess protein in the urine.


Biopsy is done to reveal the cause for the failure.




The main aim of managing kidney failure should be to regain the normal kidney function and clearing all the fluid retentions in the body. For this all the doctor’s advice and prescription should be strictly followed.


The amount of fluid intake is reduced to the level of fluid excreted.


Diet high in carbohydrates is recommended. Reduce high protein food to control protein in urine.


Salt intake is reduced to minimum in the diet plan.


Various medications are prescribed according to the patient conditions. Mainly diuretic are prescribed for the clearance of fluid buildup.ACE inhibitors and ANGIOTENSIN 2 RECEPTOR ANTAGONIST to reduce the sequence of chronic condition.


Various other chronic conditions leading to the kidney failure should be treated.


Blood potassium level should be under strict control.


Quit smoking and alcohols.


Live a natural healthy life style.


Avoid use of tobacco


Keep regular exercise program to follow on regular basis


Reduction of weight and stress is needed


In severe cases of kidney failure two main strategies followed are the


1. Dialysis – method of replacing kidney function by filtering the blood of the waste material that has to be excreted. This is a temporary method in most cases. Only in the end stage, kidney failure on a regular basis dialysis is continued. There are two types of dialysis – HEMODIALYSIS and PERITONEAL DIALYSIS.


2. Transplant – this is the technique of replacing with the new kidney. Transplant operation requires blood matching and human leukocyte antigen matching and antibody formation. These increase the life of new kidney.


After surgery a week hospitalization is undergone. In the post surgery care rejection should be avoided by suppressing the immune system, but side effects of immune suppression should be avoided.


Lifelong medications are involved for maintaining body from rejecting the new kidney.




Kidney failure is increasing everyday silently unknowing for the patient. The risk factors like diabetes and heart disease should be under check every time. In today`s world various types of dialysis techniques available in all the countries according to the condition and economic status of the person.


With the advancement in the technology the treatment plan changes day by day and we can adopt various simple techniques to reduce the occurrences of the kidney failure.

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