Acute Renal Failure

Acute Renal Failure dialysis

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of acute renal failure

Acute Renal Failure (ARF) is a frequent fallout of critical illness. It affects people who are under intensive care. Under these conditions, the kidney loses its ability to purify the blood. It affects the balance of fluids in the body. This accumulates wastes and salts in the blood. This is not good for many other bodily functions. Typically, ARF aggregates quickly, over a period of a few days to a few weeks. It requires immediate attention and treatment. ARF is fatal most times. It is curable and reversible only through a healthy lifestyle.

 

Definition of acute renal failure

Acute Renal Failure kidneyThe function of the kidney is to purify the blood in the human body.

Acute Renal Failure is the abrupt failure of the kidney to carry out its regular functions. Failure of the kidneys to function normally results in the accumulation of wastes and electrolytes in the blood.

These elements are toxic to the body. The aftermath of ARF is fatal. They need immediate and intensive treatment. Urologists regard acute renal failure as “Acute Kidney Failure” or “Acute Kidney Injury”.

 

What causes acute renal failure?

There are numerous causes of ARF. Below is a list of the important causes of ARF.

  • Reduction of the flow of blood to the kidneys
  • Urinary tract blockage
  • Sepsis – As a cure for infections, chemicals are released into the bloodstream which triggers inflammation throughout the body.
  • Acute tubular necrosis – death of the renal tubules of the kidney
  • Ingesting certain kind of medication (Antibiotics)
  • Direct injury of the kidney
  • After undergoing a major surgery (In the paper “Incidence and associations of acute kidney injury after major abdominal surgery”, O’Connor ME has stated that 13.4% of the patients who’ve undergone a major surgery develop ARF)
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Diseases like diabetes, insulin resistance

 

Symptoms of acute renal failure

ARF is difficult to predict. There are some prominent symptoms that hint at the possible threat of ARF. The fatality of ARF intensifies rapidly. One should monitor the symptoms closely. Consultation with a doctor is necessary for the possible requirement of treatment. The prominent symptoms are-

  • Fatigue
  • Blood in stools
  • Blood in urine
  • Unpleasant metallic taste in the mouth
  • Vomiting
  • Water weight in the body
  • Constant nosebleeds
  • High blood pressure
  • Prolonged body pain (back, abdomen, headache)

 

What are the different types of acute renal failure?

There are three types of ARF, each with their own causes.

  • Postrenal ARF: Urinary tract blockage is the primary reason for postrenal ARF.

Causes: Renal injury, bladder stones or kidney stones (in both kidneys) or enlargement of prostate gland.

  • Prerenal ARF: an insufficient flow of blood to the kidneys gives rise to prerenal ARF.

Causes: Low blood pressure, heart diseases, dehydration, liver failure or allergic reactions.

  • Intrinsic ARF: In intrinsic ARF, one or both kidneys may be injured.

Causes: Vascular diseases, Ischemia (inadequate blood supply to the kidneys).

 

Are there some long-term effects of acute renal failure?

Acute Renal Failure manIf one is healthy and fit, ARF is reversible and curable. ARF proves to be fatal if the patient does not receive immediate treatment. Chronic Kidney Disease, progressive kidney failure and excessive blood loss are the consequences that arise if ARF is not treated immediately and effectively. Pulmonary edema can arise. This means that the fluids will enter your lungs.

ARF is curable. In many cases, the mortality after diagnosis with ARF is high. 5-10% of the patients who have ARF do not regain full kidney functionality. Restoration of normal kidney functions after a thorough treatment does not guarantee full recovery. Death of the patient may occur.

 

What are the main vulnerable groups?

If one is 65 years or above he or she is susceptible to ARF. There are others who are at risk of being beset with ARF. People who have kidney diseases, high blood pressure, or blockage in their urinary tract and those who often face intensive dehydration should test themselves for ARF.

 

Genetics of acute renal failure

A journal written for the Translational Research Investigating Biomarkers and Endpoints for Acute Kidney Injury (TRIBE-AKI) Consortium reveals that “Current association studies are unable to provide definitive evidence linking genetic variation to AKI.”

 

Important diagnostic tests

Acute Renal Failure dialysisDiagnosis of ARF involves monitoring the urine output and performing blood tests. If the measure of the chemical creatinine, waste breakdown product produced by the muscle, in the blood is high, it means you are at the risk of having ARF. If the kidney functions properly, the creatinine will be excreted from the body. The concentration of creatinine will be low. For children and teenagers, urologists recommend the measurement of the plasma creatinine level. If the laboratory test results are positive, here is a list of instructions one should follow-

  • Visit a doctor and get the necessary treatment.
  • Ensure an intake of food rich in salt, potassium, and phosphorus.
  • Monitor the amount of fluid intake in 24 hours
  • Go for dialysis if the toxins multiply in the body.
  • Some irreversible and extreme cases require a renal transplant or long-term dialysis.

 

Treatment and prevention

Diabetic neuropathy 

Treatment 

  • Since there is no sure shot cure for diabetic neuropathy, patients will need to control their blood pressure within the normal range that their doctor has set for them. The range is decided on factors such as the patients’ age, overall health and the number of years that the patient has had diabetes.
  • Seizure medications are known to relieve pain and ease some of the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Some antidepressants have the property to disrupt that part of the brain that transmits pain signals; these may be prescribed to those who have diabetic neuropathy.

Prevention 

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Consume clean and healthy food.
  • Treat diabetes and other medical conditions.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Manage and control blood pressure.

Liver failure 

Treatment 

  • Regular blood and urine tests will be done to check if there are any infections. If an infection is detected, doctors will prescribe medications to treat the infections.
  • In some cases of liver failure, there may be excessive bleeding. Doctors will need to find the cause of the bleeding and medications to stop the bleeding will be prescribed.
  • In the initial stages, medicines are prescribed to counter the effect of toxins on the liver. In case of liver poisoning cannot be treated, a liver transplant must be done. Here, a surgeon removes the damaged liver and replaces it with a healthy liver that is given by a donor.

Prevention 

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Consume clean and healthy food.
  • Practice safe sex and refrain from using used needles and syringes.
  • Make sure that infected blood is not used during blood transfusions.
  • Make sure to get vaccinated for hepatitis and other conditions that could hamper liver health.
  • Abstain from drinking alcohol.

Sepsis 

Treatment 

  • Medications to treat the bacterial infection will be given intravenously. At times if antibiotics do not work vasopressors will be administered to help in increasing blood pressure.
  • Depending on the condition of the patient, supportive care will be provided. Here, oxygen may be provided to help the patient breathe or a dialysis machine will be provided as well.
  • Surgery to stop the bleeding and remove any abscess may be conducted.

Prevention 

  • Consume immune system strengthening foods.
  • Make sure to treat your injuries properly. No wound should be allowed to become infected.
  • Take medicines as prescribed, especially antibiotics.
  • Stay up-to-date with vaccinations.
  • Practice good hygiene.

Kidney stones 

Treatment 

  • For minimal symptoms make sure to drink 1.9-2.8 liters of water every day. This helps in flushing out the urinary system.
  • Certain pain medications to relieve pain while passing small kidney stones may be provided.
  • Alpha blockers help in relaxing the ureter, thereby making to easier to pass kidney stones.
  • Depending on the size and location of the kidney stones, doctors may use sound waves to breaks down the kidney stones in small pieces so that they can be passed through urine.
  • If the size of the kidney stone is big, a small incision will be made in the back, and a small telescope will be inserted into the kidney to remove the stones.
  • The doctor will use a lighted tube to find the location of the kidney stones. Once the kidney stones have been found, they will be broken down into small pieces so that they can pass during urination.
  • At times the thyroid glands need to be surgically operated to prevent the excess production of calcium in the body that cause kidney stones.

Prevention  

  • Maintain a healthy and clean diet.
  • Do not consume excess salt and animal fats.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Maintain an adequate amount of calcium intake.

Facts

  • Diabetic nephropathy occurs in 15-40% of those who have been diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. This is one of the leading causes of kidney failure.
  • Diabetic nephropathy is commonly diagnosed among smokers and those who have high cholesterol levels.

Facts

  • Alcohol is a major cause of liver diseases which usually develop into kidney conditions.
  • If kidney stones are smaller than 4 mm in diameter they can be passed out through urine.

Facts

  • Drinking cranberry juice can aid in preventing urinary tract infections but not kidney stones.
  • All types of medications can be bad for the liver if you overdose on them.

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Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Maintain a healthy diet, this helps in ensuring that the blood surge levels in the body remain constant.
  • Get a shot of the hepatitis B vaccination. This helps in preventing any further infections or diseases of the kidney as well.
  • Have a healthy calcium intake. Too much or too less of it can lead to kidney stones.
Don'ts
  • Skip any meals, it is not good for the digestive system and you may not notice the symptoms of hypoglycemia.
  • Consume alcohol in excessive amounts; consuming excess alcohol is equivalent to toxic to the kidneys.
  • Consume excess amounts of salt. High sodium levels increase your blood pressure and make you more vulnerable to kidney diseases.

 

 

 

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Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
colposcopy
Colposcopy Colposcopy is a simple, quick and non- invasive diagnostic tool to look closely inside the vulva, vagina, and…
CEA_test
Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) test CEA or carcinoembryonic test detects the presence of CEA antigen in your blood mainly & determines the effectiveness…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
leptospira Igm test
Leptospira-IgM Test A Leptospira-IgM test is a blood test which is carried out to detect anti-Leptospira IgM antibody. Leptospirosis is…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
dandelion weight loss
Caralluma Fimbriata: How to eat this cactus to lose weight Caralluma fimbriata is a miracle cactus that can be safely consumed by most for losing weight and boosting…
Coffee Enema: Turn your favorite morning beverage into a powerful colon cleanser The wonders of coffee are not just limited to waking you up every morning. You can now use…
Atkins diet weight loss
Atkins Diet: The right steps to carb control that can help you lose those pounds fast The Atkins diet is a high fat, low-carb diet with proven weight loss benefits that is flexible enough…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
phenytoin test
Phenytoin test Phenytoin is a drug that is administered mainly to epilepsy patients. The phenytoin blood test measures the level…
Rubella IgM test
Rubella IgM Test The Rubella IgM test is a blood test that is performed to diagnose the presence of the rubella…
chloride test
Chloride Test A chloride test of the blood checks the level of chloride in body, an important factor governing the…
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
Optavia diet
The features of an Optavia diet The Optavia diet endorses pre-packaged meals and snacks called "fuelings" that are tasty, low in calorie, and incorporates…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
How to correctly perform nasal irrigation using a Neti Pot? Neti pot has been a part of Ayurveda since centuries. This ancient tool is extremely effective in treating…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
sodium blood test
Blood Sodium Test A blood sodium test measures the amount of sodium (an important electrolyte) in your body. It is also…
Coconut sugar: What is it and is it healthier than table sugar? In the long list of things that the wonderful coconut gives us, coconut sugar is another remarkable addition.…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
C-Reactive Protein Test A CRP or c-reactive protein blood test is an important diagnostic tool used to determine the risk of…
ANTIPHOSPHOLIPIDANTIBODY(APL)_IgG
Antiphospholipid (APL) antibody-IgG The Antiphospholipid Antibody testing is a blood test used to determine an autoimmune disorder called Antiphospholipid syndrome linked…
Strep throat pain
Anti-Streptolysin-O Test The ASO or Anti-Streptolysin-O is a blood test designed to check for the presence of streptococcus bacterial infection…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…