Chronic renal failure (kidney)

Lower Back | Nephrology | Chronic renal failure (kidney) (Disease)


Chronic kidney disease (CKD), also known as chronic renal disease, is a accelerating loss in renal function. The main function of the kidneys is to remove wastes and excess water from the body, so when chronic kidney failure reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can accumulate in the body.

Symptoms may include: appetite loss; general ill feeling and fatigue; headaches; nausea; weight loss without trying to lose weight; abnormally dark or light skin; bone pain; brain and nervous system symptoms; breath odor; easy bruising, bleeding, or blood in the stool; excessive thirst; amenorrhea; insomnia; edema; vomiting, typically in the morning.

Causes and Risk factors

The most common causes of CKD are Diabetes mellitus, Hypertension, and Glomerulonephritis. Many other diseases and conditions can damage the kidneys, including: Autoimmune disorders (systemic lupus erythematosus and scleroderma); birth defects of the kidneys like Polycystic kidney disease; certain toxic chemicals; injury or trauma; kidney stones and infection; problems with the arteries leading to or inside the kidneys; some pain medications and cancer drugs; reflux nephropathy; other kidney diseases.

Potential complications may include: fluid retention or fluid in your lungs, known as pulmonary edema; a sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood called hyperkalemia; heart and blood vessel disease; weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures; anemia; decreased sex drive or impotence; seizures; decreased immune response; pericarditis; pregnancy complications; irreversible damage to your kidneys, eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Tests that can be made are: blood and urine tests, imaging test: CT, MRI and kidney biopsy. It is important to differentiate CKD from acute renal failure (ARF) because ARF can be reversible.

Treatment consists of measures to help control signs and symptoms of chronic kidney failure, reduce complications, and slow the progress of the disease. ...