The kidney is a multi-purpose organ that filters wastes and fluid from the blood, as well as helps control the balance of water and minerals. Kidney failure, also called end-stage kidney disease, is the most severe form that kidney disease can take. Kidney failure is where kidney damage reaches a point where it can no longer carry out its functions. At this point, dialysis or kidney transplantation may be needed to keep patients alive. When the kidneys stop functioning completely, toxins build up in your body, and blood pressure can rise significantly. High blood pressure leads to fatigue and other problems. Symptoms of kidney failure depend on which stage kidney disease has reached by the time kidney function decreases enough to cause symptoms.
End-stage kidney disease typically has no warning signs or symptoms until kidney function is only 10 percent of what it should be. The most common symptom of kidney failure is fluid buildup in the body, including swelling in the lower legs and feet, ankles, and abdomen. End-stage kidney disease can also cause anemia, decreased appetite, nausea, and vomiting. In the late stages of kidney failure, patients may urinate very little even though they have a strong urge to go. They may develop weakness or feel tired from low blood pressure due to less fluid volume in the body from kidney failure. Other possible symptoms include rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing that worsens during exercise or sleep, choking sensations, or chest pain caused by fluid around the lungs (pleural effusion).
Causes Vary From Person To Person:
After kidney failure begins, some kidney damage occurs each day. The rate of kidney function loss varies from person to person and depends on the cause of the kidney disease. Generally, kidney damage progresses over months or years until kidney function is so low that dialysis or kidney transplantation is needed to replace kidney functions no longer performed by the kidneys. Kidney failure affects specific organs in your body depending upon how vital that organ’s function is to your everyday life. Kidney failure can also affect other body systems if they rely on blood flow regulated by healthy kidneys. For instance, high blood pressure can lead to problems with arteries in any organ system. These include stroke or heart attack due to artery blockage in the brain or heart, respectively; kidney disease from chronic kidney high blood pressure; or aneurysms in the aorta, which can lead to aortic rupture.
The most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Other causes include hereditary kidney disease, autoimmune diseases such as lupus and IgA nephropathy, chronic kidney infections, acute kidney injury, or poisoning by toxins, medicines, or illegal drugs. It is also possible for inflammation to damage any part of the kidney’s filtering system. Heart failure, liver disease including hepatitis C infection, complications during pregnancy called preeclampsia, chemotherapy treatment for cancer, and dialysis treatments can also cause kidney failure.
When kidney disease has been present for a long time and the kidneys have already lost a significant amount of their ability to filter blood, kidney failure can occur more rapidly. In this case, kidney function loss is rapid and symptoms appear suddenly. Kidney failure from this start usually requires hospitalization because it happens so suddenly that patients need immediate treatment and monitoring.