Table of Contents
- Kidney failure facts
- What are the kidneys?
- What are the kidneys? (Continued)
- What causes kidney failure?
- What causes kidney failure? (Continued)
- What are the signs and symptoms of kidney failure?
- Does kidney failure cause pain?
- How is kidney failure diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for kidney failure?
- Dialysis and Hemodialysis
- Peritoneal dialysis
- Kidney transplantation
- What is the prognosis for someone with kidney failure?
Kidney failure facts
- Kidneys are the organs that filter waste products from the blood. They are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body.
- Symptoms of kidney failure are due to the build-up of waste products and excess fluid in the body that may cause weakness, shortness of breath, lethargy, swelling, and confusion. Inability to remove potassium from the bloodstream may lead to abnormal heart rhythms and sudden death. Initially kidney failure may cause no symptoms.
- There are numerous causes of kidney failure, and treatment of the underlying disease may be the first step in correcting the kidney abnormality.
- Some causes of kidney failure are treatable and the kidney function may return to normal. Unfortunately, kidney failure may be progressive in other situations and may be irreversible.
- The diagnosis of kidney failure usually is made by blood tests measuring BUN, creatinine, and glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
- Treatment of the underlying cause of kidney failure may return kidney function to normal. Lifelong efforts to control blood pressure and diabetes may be the best way to prevent chronic kidney disease and its progression to kidney failure. As we age kidney function gradually decreases over time.
- If the kidneys fail completely, the only treatment options available may be dialysis or transplant.
1/15Reviewed on 10/27/2016
Next: What are the kidneys?