Kidney Failure

The Facts

Kidney failure, also called renal failure, is when the kidneys are unable to properly filter waste products from the blood.

Acute kidney failure is when the kidneys rapidly lose this ability, usually over a period of less than 2 days. Possible causes for this type of kidney damage include an autoimmune kidney disease, decreased blood flow to kidney due to very low pressure (e.g., due to burns, dehydration, injury, or surgery), acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection), or urinary tract blockage.

Chronic kidney failure is the slow and progressive decline of kidney function. This decline occurs gradually, over a period of weeks, months, or years, and until the kidneys stop working, resulting in end-stage renal disease. The most common cause for chronic kidney failure is a complication from another medical condition, the most common being type 1 or type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Kidney failure symptoms may include fluid retention, fatigue, increased or decreased urination, shortness of breath, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and possibly kidney pain.


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