Acute kidney failure : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


 What is Acute kidney failure?

Acute kidney failure is a sudden and rapid decline in kidney function that can be life-threatening if not treated promptly. It is typically caused by an injury or severe illness, resulting in the kidney’s inability to filter out waste from the bloodstream. Symptoms of acute kidney failure include decreased urine output, swelling in the face and extremities, confusion and fatigue. Treatment for acute kidney failure usually involves dialysis and other supportive care, such as medication to control electrolyte levels and reduce fluid retention.

Acute kidney failure, also known as acute renal failure, is a condition in which the kidneys abruptly and suddenly stop working. This often results in a dramatic increase in the accumulation of nitrogenous waste products, electrolyte disturbances, and fluid imbalances. Acute kidney failure can be caused by a variety of conditions such as dehydration, infection, or a drug overdose. It is also a common complication of sepsis, trauma, or certain medical procedures.

Medical terms

Acute kidney failure, also known as acute kidney injury (AKI), refers to a sudden and rapid decline in the kidneys' ability to function properly. This condition is characterized by a sudden loss of the kidneys' ability to filter and eliminate waste products and excess fluids from the blood. As a result, these waste products and fluids can accumulate in the body, leading to various complications.

Acute kidney failure can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Decreased blood flow to the kidneys: This can occur due to conditions such as severe dehydration, a drop in blood pressure, or certain medications.

  • Direct damage to the kidneys: This can result from infections, toxins, or certain medical conditions.

  • Obstruction of the urinary tract: Blockages in the urinary tract, such as kidney stones or tumors, can impede the flow of urine and lead to kidney damage.

Disease Definition Question and Answer American Hospitals Alternative Medicine

Symptoms Acute kidney failure

Many humans experience few or no signs inside the early ranges of kidney ailment. However, persistent kidney ailment (CKD) may additionally nonetheless motivate harm even though you experience quality.

CKD and kidney failure symptoms vary between humans.

Signs and symptoms of acute kidney failure may additionally consist of:

  • Decreased urine output, even though from time to time urine output remains normal

  • Fluid retention, causing swelling for your legs, ankles or toes

  • Shortness of breath

  • Fatigue

  • Confusion

  • Nausea

  • Weakness

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Chest pain or strain

  • Seizures or coma in intense instances

When to peer a medical doctor

See your health practitioner at once or are trying to find emergency care when you have symptoms or signs of acute kidney failure.

Causes Acute kidney failure

Diabetes and excessive blood stress are the maximum not unusual causes of continual kidney ailment and kidney failure.

Unmanaged diabetes can cause high blood sugar degrees (hyperglycemia). Consistently high blood sugar can harm your kidneys in addition to other organs.

High blood stress means blood travels forcefully through your frame’s blood vessels. Over time and without remedy, the more force can harm your kidneys’ tissue.

Acute kidney failure can occur whilst:

  • You have a circumstance that slows blood glide for your kidneys

  • You enjoy direct harm to your kidneys

  • Your kidneys' urine drainage tubes (ureters) emerge as blocked and wastes can't go away your body thru your urine

Impaired blood waft to the kidneys

Diseases and situations that can slow blood flow to the kidneys and result in kidney injury include:

  • Blood or fluid loss

  • Blood pressure medicinal drugs

  • Heart assault

  • Heart disorder

  • Infection

  • Liver failure

  • Use of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others) or related capsules

  • Severe hypersensitivity reaction (anaphylaxis)

  • Severe burns

  • Severe dehydration

Damage to the kidneys

These illnesses, situations and agents can also harm the kidneys and cause acute kidney failure:

  • Blood clots in the veins and arteries in and around the kidneys

  • Cholesterol deposits that block blood flow in the kidneys

  • Glomerulonephritis (glove-mer-u-loe-nuh-FRY-tis), inflammation of the tiny filters inside the kidneys (glomeruli)

  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a circumstance that consequences from untimely destruction of red blood cells

  • Infection, consisting of with the virus that causes coronavirus sickness 2019 (COVID-19)

  • Lupus, an immune gadget sickness causing glomerulonephritis

  • Medications, inclusive of certain chemotherapy tablets, antibiotics and dyes used at some point of imaging exams

  • Scleroderma, a group of uncommon illnesses affecting the pores and skin and connective tissues

  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, a unprecedented blood sickness

  • Toxins, along with alcohol, heavy metals and cocaine

  • Muscle tissue breakdown (rhabdomyolysis) that leads to kidney harm as a result of pollutants from muscle tissue destruction

  • Breakdown of tumor cells (tumor lysis syndrome), which leads to the release of pollutants that can motive kidney damage

Urine blockage in the kidneys

Diseases and situations that block the passage of urine out of the frame (urinary obstructions) and might lead to acute kidney damage consist of:

Risk factors Acute kidney failure

Acute kidney failure almost continually happens in reference to any other clinical situation or event. Conditions which could growth your threat of acute kidney failure include:

  • Being hospitalized, especially for a extreme condition that calls for extensive care

  • Advanced age

  • Blockages in the blood vessels in your hands or legs (peripheral artery disorder)

  • Diabetes

  • High blood strain

  • Heart failure

  • Kidney diseases

  • Liver diseases

  • Certain cancers and their treatments

Complications Acute kidney failure

Potential headaches of acute kidney failure encompass:

  • Fluid buildup. Acute kidney failure may lead to a buildup of fluid for your lungs, which could cause shortness of breath.

  • Chest ache. If the lining that covers your heart (pericardium) becomes inflamed, you may revel in chest ache.

  • Muscle weakness. When your frame's fluids and electrolytes — your frame's blood chemistry — are out of balance, muscle weak points can result.

  • Permanent kidney damage. Occasionally, acute kidney failure causes everlasting lack of kidney function, or give up-degree renal disorder. People with stop-level renal ailment require both everlasting dialysis — a mechanical filtration process used to remove pollution and wastes from the body — or a kidney transplant to live to tell the tale.

  • Death. Acute kidney failure can result in loss of kidney characteristic and, ultimately, death.

Prevention Acute kidney failure

Acute kidney failure is often tough to predict or save you. But you can lessen your danger via taking care of your kidneys. Try to:

  • Pay attention to labels whilst taking on-the-counter (OTC) ache medicines. Follow the instructions for OTC acne medications, including aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve, others). Taking an excessive amount of these medicines may also increase your risk of kidney injury. This is specifically proper if you have pre-present kidney disorder, diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • Work together with your physician to control kidney and other chronic conditions. If you have got kidney disorder or any other condition that increases your chance of acute kidney failure, such as diabetes or excessive blood strain, stay on target with remedy desires and comply with your physician's recommendations to manipulate your circumstance.

  • Make a healthful way of life a priority. Be energetic; devour a sensible, balanced weight loss program; and drink alcohol best in moderation — if in any respect.

Diagnosis Acute kidney failure

If your signs and symptoms and symptoms propose that you have acute kidney failure, your doctor might also endorse certain checks and techniques to confirm your analysis. These may additionally consist of:

  • Urine output measurements. Measuring how an awful lot you urinate in 24 hours may additionally help your physician determine the purpose of your kidney failure.

  • Urine assessments. Analyzing a sample of your urine (urinalysis) may additionally display abnormalities that suggest kidney failure.

  • Urinalysis/uroscopy
  • Blood tests. A pattern of your blood may additionally screen rapidly rising degrees of urea and creatinine —  substances used to degree kidney features.

  • Removing a pattern of kidney tissue for trying out. In some situations, your doctor may additionally suggest a kidney biopsy to do away with a small pattern of kidney tissue for lab checking out. Your health practitioner inserts a needle through your pores and skin and into your kidney to eliminate the sample.

Treatment Acute kidney failure

Treatment for acute kidney failure normally calls for a medical institution stay. Most people with acute kidney failure are already hospitalized. How long you will stay within the sanatorium depends on the reason for your acute kidney failure and the way fast your kidneys get better.

In a few cases, you'll be able to recover at home.

Treating the underlying purpose of your kidney damage

Treatment for acute kidney failure involves figuring out the illness or injury that originally damaged your kidneys. Your remedy options depend on what is causing your kidney failure.

Treating complications till your kidneys get better

Your doctor may also work to save you headaches and allow your kidneys time to heal. Treatments that help save you complications encompass:

  • Treatments to stabilize the amount of fluids for your blood. If your acute kidney failure is resulting from a lack of fluids in your blood, your medical doctor might also advocate intravenous (IV) fluids. In other instances, acute kidney failure can also cause you to have an excessive amount of fluid, leading to swelling in your legs and arms. In these cases, your medical doctor might also advise medicines (diuretics) to reason your frame to expel more fluids.

  • Medications to manipulate blood potassium. If your kidneys are not nicely filtering potassium out of your blood, your doctor might also prescribe calcium, glucose or sodium polystyrene sulfonate (Kionex) to save you from the accumulation of high levels of potassium in your blood. Too much potassium in the blood can cause risky irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) and muscle weak points.

  • Medications to restore blood calcium levels. If the stages of calcium to your blood drop too low, your doctor might also recommend an infusion of calcium.

  • Dialysis to put off toxins from your blood. If pollutants increase in your blood, you can want temporary hemodialysis — frequently noted clearly as dialysis — to assist eliminate toxins and excess fluids from your frame whilst your kidneys heal. Dialysis might also assist in casting off excess potassium from your frame. During dialysis, a gadget pumps blood from your frame via an artificial kidney (dialyzer) that filters out waste. The blood is then back in your frame.

Lifestyle and domestic remedies

During your recuperation from acute kidney failure, your medical doctor may additionally endorse a unique diet to assist your kidneys and limit the work they have to do. Your health practitioner may also refer you to a dietitian who can examine your modern food regimen and propose ways to make your food regimen less difficult in your kidneys.


Depending on your scenario, your dietitian may additionally propose that you:

  • Choose lower potassium ingredients. Your dietitian may advocate that you select lower potassium meals. High-potassium ingredients consist of bananas, oranges, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes. Examples of low-potassium foods consist of apples, cauliflower, peppers, grapes and strawberries.

  • Avoid merchandise with brought salt. Lower the amount of sodium you eat every day through heading off merchandise with introduced salt, such as many comfort meals, which includes frozen dinners, canned soups and rapid meals. Other meals with introduced salt consist of salty snack meals, canned greens, and processed meats and cheeses.

  • Limit phosphorus. Phosphorus is a mineral observed in foods, which includes complete-grain bread, oatmeal, bran cereals, darkish-colored colas, nuts and peanut butter. Too much phosphorus on your blood can weaken your bones and cause pores and skin itchiness. Your dietitian can come up with unique tips on phosphorus and how to restrict it in your specific state of affairs.

  • As your kidneys recover, you could now not want to eat a special food plan, even though wholesome ingesting stays essential.

Preparing on your appointment

Most people are already hospitalized when they increase acute kidney failure. If you or a cherished one develops signs and symptoms of kidney failure, convey your concerns along with your health practitioner or nurse.


If you aren't inside the hospital, but have signs and symptoms or signs and symptoms of kidney failure, make an appointment with your circle of relatives health practitioner or a widespread practitioner. If your physician suspects you have got kidney issues, you will be referred to a physician who specializes in kidney sickness (nephrologist).


Before your assembly with the doctor, write down your questions. Consider asking:

  • What's the maximum like purpose of my signs?

  • Have my kidneys stopped running? What could have precipitated my kidney failure?

  • What kinds of tests do I need?

  • What are my remedy alternatives and what are the dangers?

  • Do I want to go to the medical institution?

  • Will my kidneys recover or will I want dialysis?

  • I actually have other fitness conditions. How can I manage these conditions collectively?

  • Do I want to consume a unique weight loss plan, and if so, are you able to refer me to a dietitian to assist me plan what to eat?

  • Is there a customary alternative to the medication you're prescribing me?

  • Do you have any revealed substances that I can take with me? What websites do you suggest?

General summary

The management of acute kidney failure often involves addressing the underlying cause and providing supportive care to help the kidneys recover. This may include intravenous fluids to address dehydration, medications to manage blood pressure, and addressing the specific cause of kidney damage.

It's important to note that acute kidney failure is different from chronic kidney disease (CKD), which develops slowly over time. While acute kidney failure can sometimes be reversible with prompt and appropriate treatment, chronic kidney disease often leads to permanent loss of kidney function. Regular medical check-ups and monitoring are crucial for individuals at risk of kidney disease. If you suspect you have kidney problems, it's important to seek medical attention promptly.

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