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Let’s play a game. Extend the fingers of your hands. Curl them inwards. Now tightly clench them into your palm. What you see now is a fist. Game over! Your kidneys are about the size of these fists you made. Tiny, right? But these tiny kidneys are susceptible to surprising damages if they are unhealthy.Kidney failure is one of the most common conditions in Indians. In this article, we would like to talk about kidney failure symptoms, causes, and treatments. Let’s begin.
What is Kidney Failure?
Before getting to the point of this article, let us first understand what does kidney failure means.
As the name suggests, kidney failure means the failure of your kidneys. It is when your kidneys no longer work effectively.
In a healthy human, the main function of the kidneys is to filter waste from the blood. They also remove toxins from your body. When the health of kidneys declines, it results in kidney failure.
In the medical context, there are two types of kidney failures:
- Acute Kidney Failure – when the kidneys are unable to work suddenly.
- Chronic Kidney Failure – when the kidneys stop working gradually over a period of time.
What Are Kidney Failure Symptoms?
The importance of kidneys to life is beyond doubt. An estimated three lakh Indians suffer from kidney failures. Here we give you a detailed list of the signs to look out for.
We know now that there are two types of this condition. So the kidney failure symptoms of the same would also differ.
Acute Kidney Failure Symptoms:
Reduced Urine output– You would see a noticeable change in your urination habits. There would be a sudden decrease in the quantity of urine you discharge.
The number of times you go to the toilet would also decrease largely. (If you use the restroom to look in the mirror, then the number may not change). Reduction in urine output is a sign of possible acute renal failure.
2. Abdominal Pain- There are countless reasons for pain in the abdominal region. Acute Kidney Failure is one of the reasons. If you feel unusual pain in your abdomen, it is recommended that you visit a doctor soon.
3. Swelling in Legs- You may suddenly have swelling in your legs, ankles or feet. If the swelling is caused without injury or any other condition, you may be at risk of having acute kidney failure.
4. Fatigue and weakness- Fatigue is the most common reason for acute kidney failure. If you feel extremely tired or very weak after a usual day, it is definite that you may have an issue. Consult with a doctor to know if it is due to any kidney issues or not.
5. Irregular Heartbeat- Yes, it is true that the conditions of your kidneys impact the health of your heart. One of the signs of renal failure is that you may be having irregular heartbeats. If you feel out of breath after taking a flight of stairs, it can be a warning sign for renal failure. Shortness of breath is another sign for kidney failure.
6. Nausea and Vomiting- You may think that you have some gastric issues which led to vomiting or the feeling of nausea. Your discomfort may also be because of acute kidney failure.
7. Seizures- Since acute kidney failure is a sudden condition, it does not knock on the door before coming. In rare cases, you may have a seizure or coma-like condition. This is an extreme warning sign. It is advised to take medical help instantly in such cases.
Other acute kidney failure symptoms consist of back pain, diarrhea, fever, skin rashes among others.
Chronic Kidney Failure Symptoms:
1. Itching- The hot summer sun may not be the only reason for your persistent itching. Your skin may itch over and over during chronic kidney failure.
2. Blood in urine- A warning sign of chronic renal failure is the presence of blood in your urine. Consult a medical expert as soon as possible to confirm the condition.
3. Dark Urine- We mostly believe that dark colored urine highlights the lack of water intake. It is true but dark urine is also a sign for chronic kidney failure. Only a doctor would be able to tell you if your dark colored urine is a kidney failure symptom or not.
4. Lack of appetite- Not wanting to eat your meals, even meals that include delicious cheeseburgers may be a sign. Loss of appetite means the disinterest in eating which leads to a major change in eating habits.
5. Muscle Cramps- You may feel muscle cramps even while comfortably sitting under the air conditioner. If this happens with other mentioned symptoms, you should consider getting yourself checked for chronic kidney failure.
6. Nausea and Vomiting- One of the most common signs for detecting kidney failure is regular nausea and vomiting. If you feel the need to vomit very frequently, chances are that you would be having chronic kidney failure.
7. Change in urination habits- You may feel the urge to urinate too often or too less. Any of these changes may be signs of chronic kidney failure.
Other chronic renal failure symptoms include anemia, fatigue, insomnia, erectile dysfunction and more.
Also, Read About – Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms, Stages and Treatment
What Causes Kidney Failure?
We hope we have given you some clarity about kidney failure symptoms.
Let us now discuss what causes kidney failure- what are the risk factors and reasons behind it.
Reasons for kidney failure-
- Diabetes- In case you have diabetes, you might also be prone to kidney failure. It is because of the excess sugar that gets collected in your body. It becomes more important to control diabetes to avoid this condition.
- High Blood Pressure- Hypertension or high BP causes damage to the parts of kidneys which filter out the waste products. High Blood Pressure should be controlled so that it does not develop into renal failure.
- Kidney Diseases- There is a wide variety of kidney diseases. If your kidneys are unhealthy because of any such disease, it can be a reason for kidney failure.
- Aging– Growing old is a reason why your body attracts various diseases. As you grow older, the ability of your kidneys to function properly may get affected. A healthy lifestyle helps manage health in old age.
- Heart disease- All our organs work in coordination. Fatal heart diseases may be a cause of kidney failure.
- Malaria- If you do not treat your malaria properly, it may affect your kidneys and lead to renal failure.
- Illegal Drug Use- Drugs impair the functioning of your body. If you consume drugs such as cocaine or heroin, you may be at a higher risk of having kidney failure.
- Physical Injury- Your kidneys may fail to function if they are hit directly.
Must Read: 5 Superfoods For Healthy Kidneys
What is Kidney Failure Treatment?
There is no precise cure to fix kidney failure entirely. Kidney failure is permanent and requires frequent treatment to maintain the health of this organ.
Most people are born with two kidneys. If one of the kidneys is damaged, the other kidney can work for two. But if both kidneys are damaged, a transplant becomes necessary.
A new kidney can mean a new life for the patient. Kidney dialysis becomes equally important to maintain health.
We know it is sad that there is no cure for kidney failure but the disease itself can be prevented. You can reduce the risk of this disease by doing the following:
- Maintain a balanced diet
- Get physically active
- Read the labels on medicines
- Control your blood sugar
- Maintain a normal blood pressure
- Do not consume tobacco or alcohol
So What Does This Article Tell You?
We know kidney failure would be a devastating and awful condition. But a positive attitude is what you need to have.
We have tried to give a detailed analysis on this subject. How to identify kidney failure symptoms, understand what causes this condition and what the possible treatment is. We encourage you to maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you think that you have kidney failure, consult with the best Nephrologist in India today.
Also, Read About: 8 Symptoms of Kidney Infection & Disease You Must Know About