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Acute Renal Failure - How To Avert It?

Reviewed by
Dr. Ashok Sarin 88% (46 ratings)
MD, MBBS, FRCP - Nephrology
Nephrologist, Delhi  •  49 years experience
Acute Renal Failure - How To Avert It?

Acute Renal Failure- What it is?

Acute renal failure is a condition that develops when the kidneys lose their ability to filter out wastes, excess fluids and salts from the bloodstream. Eliminating these wastes forms the basic core of the kidney’s functioning. When this happens, the bodily fluids start to accumulate and may exceed alarming levels. As a result of this condition, the body’s electrolyte levels can go awry, thus posing a potentially life-threatening situation for the patient.

Also called ‘acute kidney injury’, this condition mostly affects patients who have been admitted in hospitals and nursing homes since an extended period of time. It might take several weeks or even months for this condition to manifest. However, in a few cases, acute kidney failure can also happen over a matter of a few hours.

Critically ill patients or people who require intensive critical care are at the maximum risk of developing this condition.

The good part is that this condition is certainly reversible. However, it usually requires intensive treatment.

How is Acute Renal Failure Caused?

  1. Acute kidney failure can occur for many reasons. Among the most common reasons are:
    • acute tubular necrosis (ATN)
    • severe or sudden dehydration
    • toxic kidney injury from poisons or certain medications
    • autoimmune kidney diseases, such as acute nephritic syndrome and interstitial nephritis
    • urinary tract obstruction
  2. Reduced blood flow can damage your kidneys. The following conditions can lead to decreased blood flow to your kidneys:
  3. Certain disorders can cause clotting within your kidney’s blood vessels, and this can lead to acute kidney failure. These conditions include:
    • hemolytic uremic syndrome
    • idiopathic thrombocytopenic thrombotic purpura (ITTP)
    • malignant hypertension
    • transfusion reaction
    • scleroderma
  4. Some infections, such as septicemia and acute pyelonephritis, can directly injure your kidneys.
  5. Pregnancy can also cause complications that harm the kidneys, including placenta previa and placenta abruption.

What are the risk factors?

Age is definitely the primary risk factor in the case of acute renal failure. Other risk factors include:

  1. Liver diseases
  2. Kidney diseases
  3. Uncontrolled diabetes
  4. High BP count
  5. Morbid obesity
  6. Heart failure

Often times, susceptibility increases with the time one has spent in the ICU of a nursing home. Bone marrow transplant and surgeries of the heart and/or the abdomen can drastically up the risks.

What are the common symptoms?

The common symptoms include:

  1. Bloody stools
  2. Foul odor in breath
  3. Sluggish and slow movements
  4. Tremors of the hands
  5. Easy bruising
  6. Fluid accumulation and retention
  7. Hip pain and pain between the ribs
  8. Vomiting
  9. Fatigue and nausea
  10. High BP count
  11. Seizures
  12. Reduced appetite
  13. Reduced sensation, especially in the hands and the extremities

How To Prevent Renal Failure?

To prevent renal failure, you can follow the given steps.

  1. Exercise: Exercise regularly. Exercise will bring a positive effect to your body. You can do a light exercise such as jogging or cycling 1-2 hours each week.
  2. Stop Smoking: Smoking will give a bad impact on your body. Nicotine in the smoke in the future will damage the vital organs of your body, such as lungs, skin, heart, or renal.
  3. Reduce the Intake of Fatty Food: Fatty food can stimulate the level of cholesterol in your body increase.
  4. The Weight of your Body: You have to take care of your body so that you will not get obesity.
  5. Take Fresh Water: Take enough fresh water. Do not take any medicine without the recipe of the doctor.
  6. Get General Checkup: You can prevent yourself from this disease by regularly getting a general medical check-up done, including your urine and blood.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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