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General Practice 2023

Renal failure: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

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Renal failure: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment
Renal failure: what é, symptoms, causes and treatment

Renal failure is the inability of the kidneys to filter the blood in order to eliminate substances that can be toxic to the body when they are in high concentrations in the blood, such as urea and creatinine, for example. The change in the functioning of the kidneys can happen due to dehydration, sepsis or damage to the kidneys due to the presence of stones in these organs.

In general, renal failure can be classified into two according to the speed with which there is loss of organ function and the onset of symptoms:

  • Acute renal failure, in which there is a rapid reduction in kidney function;
  • Chronic kidney failure, in which there is a gradual loss of kidney function, leading to progressive symptoms.

Acute kidney failure is usually curable, but chronic kidney failure is not always curable and treatment is usually done through hemodialysis or kidney transplantation to improve the patient's quality of life and promote well-being be.

Symptoms of Kidney Failure

Symptoms of kidney failure appear as the filtering capacity of the kidneys decreases, the main ones being:

  • Low urine;
  • Dark yellow urine with a strong smell and foam;
  • Frequent tiredness;
  • Feeling short of breath;
  • Lower back pain;
  • Swelling of the legs and feet;
  • High blood pressure;
  • Fever above 39ÂșC;
  • Lack of appetite;
  • Nausea and vomiting;
  • Frequent cramps;
  • Trembling, especially in the hands;
  • Tingling in hands and feet;
  • Small lumps on the skin.

When observing these symptoms, it is advised that the person consults the nephrologist or general practitioner so that an evaluation of the symptoms is carried out and tests that help to evaluate the functioning of the kidney can be requested and, thus, it is possible to start treatment more suitable.

The diagnosis of renal failure is made through blood tests, such as creatinine, urea, sodium and potassium levels, and urine tests with the objective of identifying the presence of proteins in the urine, which is indicative changes in kidney function. In addition, the doctor may recommend performing imaging tests, such as ultrasound, MRI or CT scan for the severity of the change.

Which doctor to consult

The most suitable physician to treat renal failure is the nephrologist, who will evaluate the symptoms, confirm the diagnosis and initiate the most appropriate treatment.

Main causes

Kidney failure can happen as a result of some situations that in the short, medium or long term can harm the functioning of the kidneys, the main ones being:

  • Decreased amount of blood in the kidney, due to dehydration, kidney malfunction, or low blood pressure;
  • Kidney damage, due to kidney stones or toxic substances such as medication;
  • Interruption of the passage of urine, caused by an enlarged prostate or the presence of a tumor.
  • Sepsis,in which bacteria can reach the kidney and other parts of the body, and can cause organ damage;
  • Polycystic kidney disease,which is characterized by the presence of several cysts in the kidney, which may impair its functioning;
  • Use of drugs and protein supplements in excess,as they can cause damage to the organ or interfere with one of its functions;
  • Hemolytic-uremic syndrome,which is a disease caused by a toxin produced by some bacteria and which results in blood vessel damage, hemolytic anemia, and progressive loss of kidney function

People who are more likely to develop kidney failure are those who are diabetic or hypertensive and who do not follow the proper treatment indicated by the doctor. In addition, family history of kidney problems or people who have had a transplant before or are over 60 years of age are also more likely to develop this disease. Learn about other causes of kidney failure.

How the treatment is done

The treatment for renal failure must be guided by the nephrologist and the nutritionist, and can be done at home or in the hospital, depending on the severity of the disease.

Most of the time, the treatment is done with the use of antihypertensive drugs and diuretics, because this way it is possible to favor the elimination of toxic substances that may be accumulated in the body.

In more severe cases, especially in chronic renal failure, it may be necessary to perform a kidney transplant or undergo hemodialysis, which is a procedure that aims to filter the blood, removing all the impurities that the kidneys cannot filter.

In addition, during treatment for renal failure, it is important that the person follows a diet recommended by the nutritionist, which should be a diet rich in carbohydrates and low in protein, s alt and potassium, as this way it is possible to prevent overload in the kidney. See more details of the diet for kidney failure.

Check out the following video for more tips on eating during the treatment of kidney failure:

How to prevent kidney failure

To prevent the kidneys from losing their function, it is essential to drink plenty of fluids and only take medication with medical advice, as many drugs are eliminated through the urine and can overload the functions of the kidneys.

Another important recommendation is to adopt a he althier lifestyle, maintaining a diet low in s alt and fat, in addition to practicing physical activities at least 3 times a week to avoid overweight, avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages and cigarette.

In addition, in cases of high blood pressure or diabetes, regular medical follow-up and medication prescribed by the doctor should be taken to avoid kidney damage that can cause kidney failure.

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