Kidney Failure

request an appointment

Kidney Failure

What is Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the last stage of a chronic kidney disease. When the kidneys fail, it means that they have stopped functioning well enough for one to survive without a dialysis or kidney transplant.

What Causes Kidney Failure?

Kidney failure is often caused by health problems that have done damage or harm to your kidneys over a period. When the kidneys are damaged or hurt, they may not function as well as they should. If the damage continues to get worse over time, and the kidneys are not able to their job, you may have a chronic kidney disease. Kidney failure is the most severe and the last stage of a chronic kidney disease. Therefore, it is also called the end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of ESRD, followed by high blood pressure which the second most common cause. A few other problems that can cause kidney failure are:

  • Genetic diseases such as polycystic kidney disease
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Autoimmune diseases such as IgA nephropathy and lupus.

Sometimes, the kidneys can stop functioning suddenly. This type of kidney failure is called acute kidney injury or acute renal failure. A few common causes of acute renal failure include:

  • Illegal drug use and drug abuse
  • Heart attack
  • Not enough blood flow to the kidneys
  • Urinary tract problems

However, this type of kidney failure isn’t always permanent, and your kidneys can go back to normal with appropriate treatment, especially if you do not have any other serious health issues.

Having one or few of the health problems that lead to kidney failure does not mean that you will surely have a kidney failure. A healthy lifestyle and a co-operative effort by your doctor and you to control the health problems can help your kidneys work for a longer time.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Kidney Failure?

A chronic kidney disease (CKD) gets worse slowly, and its symptoms may not appear until your kidneys are completely damaged. In the later stages of this condition, when you are nearing a kidney failure, you may notice some symptoms that are usually caused by waste and some extra fluid that builds up in your body. Here below are a few symptoms that you may notice if your kidneys are beginning to fail:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Itching
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling in the feet and ankles
  • Loss of appetite
  • Either too much or not enough urine
  • Trouble breathing
  • Trouble sleeping

If you have an acute kidney failure, you may notice the following symptoms:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Back pain
  • Nosebleeds
  • Vomiting
  • Rash

Having one or more of these symptoms may indicate a serious kidney problem. Therefore, you notice any of these symptoms; it is essential to contact your doctor immediately.

How to Treat Kidney Failure?

If you have a kidney failure or ESRD, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant. There is no cure for ESRD. However, many people live long while having dialysis or after having a kidney transplant. There are numerous options for treating a kidney failure which also includes kidney transplant and different types of dialysis. But, it is vital to know that dialysis cannot do everything a kidney can do. Therefore, even if you are on dialysis, you may experience some complications of a kidney failure.

Sometimes, you may also decide that you do not want any treatment for kidney failure. In such cases, you may want to consider medical management that can help you live comfortably, till your body can no longer function. They include:

  • Haemodialysis: Haemodialysis is a type of kidney failure treatment that uses a machine to clean the blood. This can be done either at a dialysis centre or home.

  • Peritoneal dialysis: This treatment uses the lining of the abdomen, called the peritoneum, and a cleaning solution called dialysate that helps clean the blood. This treatment may be done at home or work, particularly if you have a suitable area.

  • Kidney transplant: A kidney transplant is a surgery that is conducted to give one a healthy kidney from another’s body. The transplant may come from a live donor or a deceased donor.

  • Medical management: If you choose not to begin dialysis or get a kidney transplant, then medical management is the way to help treat the symptoms of a kidney failure. This will help you live comfortably, till your body cannot function any longer. However, it is essential to understand that medical management is not a kidney failure treatment and does not guarantee to keep you alive.

Apollo Experience

We, at Apollo Clinic, aim at offering you the best health care services and treatments for all your health concerns, one of them being kidney failure. With state-of-the-art facilities and a team of few of the best nephrologists in the country, we provide you with accurate diagnosis and the best possible treatment for all your conditions. Thus, helping you tackle your condition positively and making sure that you live a healthy and peaceful life.

Our patients speak