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Kidney failure

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Kidney failure, also known as renal failure, can be describe as a condition wherein the kidneys of a person fails to function normally. This condition can be classified to either acute kidney failure or chronic kidney failure which is determined through the results of serum creatinine, presence of anemia and size of the kidneys.

An acute kidney failure is characterized as a quick decline in the ability of the kidneys to function properly. Chronic kidney failure is a gradual progression of the kidneys losing their normal functions. Symptoms may also show up slowly.

KIDNEY FAILURE CAUSES

There are different possible causes why kidney failure happens. This includes several underlying conditions such as acute tubular necrosis, acute pyelonephritis, acute nephritic syndrome, septicemia, scleroderma, and ITTP (Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Thrombotic Purpura). A person with extreme low blood pressure may also cause kidney failure.

Kidney failure chooses nobody. It disregards age, sex and race. There are people though who are more vulnerable than others. These are the people who have hypertension, diabetes, multiple myeloma, chronic infection, congestive heart failure, and myeloproliferative disorder.

KIDNEY FAILURE DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosis of kidney failure may start off with a physical examination and the doctor may requests several laboratory examinations to be done. The lab exams usually include urinalysis, arterial blood gas, kidney ultrasound, abdominal x-ray, abdominal MRI, abdominal CT scan and blood tests.
kidney failure
Image: Kidney Failure

KIDNEY FAILURE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

The signs and symptoms of kidney failure may be any of the following: oliguria (decrease amount of urine), anuria (inability to urinate), polyuria (excessive urination) at night, edematous lower extremities, generalized swelling, decreased appetite, metallic taste, changes in mood and behavior, uremic fetor (urine breath), flank pains and high blood pressure.

There are three ways of treating kidney failure: hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis and kidney transplantation.

KIDNEY FAILURE TREATMENT

Hemodialysis is a procedure wherein a machine, called a dialyzer, filters and cleans a person's blood since the kidneys can't do this anymore. It will help get rid of the harmful wastes as well as the extra fluids and salt in the in the body. Through this procedure electrolyte imbalance will also be corrected. Hemodialysis is a lifetime procedure which means the person will be doing this for the rest of his/her life. Peritoneal dialysis functions the same way as hemodialysis does. However, the former does not use any type of machine. Instead, it uses the abdominal lining of the person called the peritoneal membrane as the filter for the wastes, extra water and other chemicals in the body. Just like hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis is also a lifetime procedure.


Kidney transplant is another way of treating kidney failure. This may be more difficult procedure than hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis since there is a need for a kidney transplant donor whose kidneys must be compatible with the benefactor's body system. A successful transplantation would mean that there will be no need for either hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis in the future unless another case of kidney failure occurs.

KIDNEY FAILURE PREVENTION

Staying healthy would be the best way to prevent kidney failure. This would greatly depend on an individual's lifestyle – having a good diet and avoiding vices such as cigarette smoking and excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages.
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