Kidney Failure (Acute Kidney Failure)

Kidney Failure (Acute Kidney Failure)

Acute kidney failure happens when your kidneys lose their ability to rid your body of waste, excess fluid and salts. When your kidneys no longer filter properly, the fluids, salts and wastes accumulate in your body. Acute kidney failure develops quickly, within hours or days. Signs can include urinating less, swelling in your legs, ankles or feet because of the fluid you're retaining, drowsiness, shortness of breath and fatigue. You are most at risk of acute kidney failure if you are hospitalized with another serious problem that requires intensive care. Other risk factors include being elderly, having diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure and liver disease. Acute kidney failure can be fatal. However, it can be successfully treated with drugs and dialysis.

Recently Answered

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    Diagnosing intrinsic acute renal failure may depend on what's causing the condition. If a doctor suspects that you have intrinsic acute renal failure, blood tests and urine tests are often done to confirm the cause. In blood tests, levels of certain minerals like potassium and sodium are assessed to see if they're not being filtered by the kidneys properly. Sometimes, a doctor may perform an ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI scan to see any problems with the kidneys. If none of those tests can confirm a diagnosis, a doctor may perform a biopsy, which means a sample of kidney tissue is taken and analyzed for problems. This may also help diagnose other underlying kidney problems that are causing the condition. Other tests that may be affected by kidney problems, such as a bone density test or vitamin D test, may lead doctors to suspect kidney disease depending on results. 
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    If you're experiencing symptoms that you think may be caused by intrinsic acute renal failure, you should talk with your doctor immediately. Although kidney failure can be a serious condition, it can be treated successfully if it's treated early. Since intrinsic acute renal failure is often caused by other serious conditions like severe infections or allergic reactions, it's important to have a doctor diagnose and treat those conditions, as well.

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    Since intrinsic acute renal failure is usually the result of another serious condition, symptoms may be different depending on the cause of the kidney failure. Intrinsic acute renal failure can often be caused by an infection or allergic reaction to medication, or by a chronic kidney disease, so the symptoms of those conditions will usually be noticed first. The first symptom of intrinsic acute renal failure is often fluid retention, which leads to swelling or puffiness in the hands, feet, and legs. Some people will experience a decrease in their amount of urine, though this isn't the case with everyone. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include drowsiness, fatigue, and confusion. Other symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, loss of appetite, itchiness, and in severe cases, seizures.
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    Your kidneys normally remove wastes and extra fluid from your blood. When your kidneys fail because of disease or injury, wastes and extra fluid can build up in your blood and make you sick. You may have some of the following symptoms:
    • nausea
    • trouble sleeping
    • poor appetite
    • fatigue
    • hiccups
    • dry, itchy skin
    • weight loss
    • muscle cramping at night
    • abnormal bleeding or bruising easily
    • swelling of your feet or ankles
    • puffiness around your eyes
    • anemia (low red blood cell count)
    • trouble breathing or feeling short of breath.
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    Since prerenal acute renal failure is usually the result of another serious condition, symptoms may vary according to the cause of the kidney failure. In general, since prerenal acute renal failure can often be caused by traumatic injury or heart failure, the symptoms of those conditions will be noticed first. Usually, the first symptom of prerenal acute renal failure is fluid retention, which leads to swelling or puffiness in the hands, feet, and legs. Some people will experience a decrease in their amount of urine, though this isn't the case with everyone. As the condition progresses, symptoms may include drowsiness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and confusion. Other symptoms may include nausea, dizziness, itchiness, and in severe cases, seizures.
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    If you're experiencing symptoms that you think may be caused by prerenal acute renal failure, you should talk with your doctor immediately. Although kidney failure can be a serious condition, it can be treated successfully if it's treated early. Since prerenal acute renal failure is often caused by other serious conditions like heart failure or traumatic injury, it's important to have a doctor treat those conditions, as well.

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    Intrinsic acute renal failure is caused when something damages the kidneys. Normally, blood flows through the kidneys, which filter out waste that's excreted as urine. When the kidneys are damaged somehow, they can't filter blood correctly. This results in a buildup of waste in the blood, which leads to problematic symptoms in the kidneys, blood, and throughout the body. The effect on the body also depends on the cause of the kidney damage. Certain conditions that damage blood vessels in the kidneys may also damage other blood vessels throughout the body. Allergic reactions to certain medications may cause inflammation in the kidneys, but it can also cause symptoms in other areas of the body. Toxic injury or poisoning can damage the kidneys, and obviously can cause problems elsewhere to organs like the stomach and skin.

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    The kidneys filter wastes from the blood and remove excess water from the body via urine. When the kidneys aren’t doing their job, this fluid can stay in the system instead of being excreted. Swelling around the hands, feet and ankles may be associated with kidney or heart failure and shouldn’t be dismissed.
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    Prerenal acute renal failure is caused when something interferes with the flow of blood into the kidneys. When the blood can't reach the kidneys, it can't be filtered correctly. This results in a buildup of waste in the blood, which leads to problematic symptoms in the kidneys, blood, and throughout the body. The effect on the body depends on the cause of the disruption to blood flow. A heart attack or any kind of heart problem may prevent enough blood from reaching the kidneys. Low blood pressure can also interrupt proper blood flow to the kidneys. Extremely low blood pressure can be caused by significant blood loss, which is often the result of any kind of traumatic injury. Blood pressure and blood volume may also be lowered by severe dehydration. These potential causes all may have their own effects on the body, as well as affecting the kidneys and blood.

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    Caring for someone with prerenal acute renal failure involves helping them follow medical advice. Since prerenal acute renal failure is generally caused by a more serious condition such as traumatic injury or heart attack, it's important to support your loved one as they receive treatment for that condition. Those kinds of experiences can often be emotionally taxing, so make sure you support them emotionally as well as physically. Once the underlying problem has been treated, help them monitor their diet and fluid intake according to doctors' recommendations.