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Kidney Failure



Kidney failure, also known as renal failure, happens when one or both of your kidneys can no longer function properly on their own. To understand renal failure, it is important to know what your kidneys actually do. Kidneys are bean-shaped organs located below the ribcage, with one on each side of the spine.


They are responsible for helping your body get rid of toxins, filter your blood, and send waste out of your body through urine. If your kidneys do not work correctly, the waste can build up in your body, which can result in you feeling sick. When this happens, a visit to the Best Nephrologist in Karachi is highly recommended. Among kidney diseases, kidney failure is the most severe. Without treatment, a patient can only survive a few days, or weeks, at best.


Kidney failure can be of two types:


  •       Acute: Temporary and develops quickly
  •       Chronic: Long-term and progresses slowly


Although kidney failure can affect anyone, your chances of developing it can increase if you have the following:


  •       Diabetes
  •       Heart disease
  •       Liver disease
  •       Certain cancers and their treatments
  •       High blood pressure
  •       Peripheral artery disease
  •       A family history of kidney disease
  •       An abnormal kidney structure
  •       A long history of taking painkillers, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  •       Being older than 60 years of age




For a lot of people, noticing signs of kidney failure in the early stages can be difficult. Sometimes, acute kidney failure causes no symptoms, and it is through lab tests conducted for another reason that it is detected. Acute kidney failure occurs when the kidneys suddenly stop filtering waste products from your blood. Some common signs and symptoms of it are:


  •       High blood pressure
  •       Irregular heartbeat
  •       Chest pain or pressure
  •       Edema, that is, swelling of hands, ankles, and face due to fluid retention
  •       Confusion
  •       Shortness of breath
  •       Fatigue
  •       Nausea
  •       Weakness
  •       Seizures, or coma, in severe cases
  •       Peeing very less
  •       Abnormal blood or urine tests
  •       Internal bleeding


In chronic kidney failure, there are very few symptoms in the early stages. In fact, an individual may not have any symptoms until their kidney function declines to 20% or less. This is why a lot of people feel fine even though the disease is causing damage. Some common signs and symptoms of CKD include:


  •       Fatigue
  •       Nausea
  •       Vomiting
  •       Poor appetite
  •       Metallic taste in the mouth
  •       Edema
  •       Shortness of breath
  •       Confusion
  •       Seizures or coma
  •       Dry or itchy skin
  •       Cramps
  •       Numbness or tingling sensation
  •       Easy bruising
  •       Abnormal blood or urine tests
  •       Weight loss
  •       Low red blood cell count (anemia)
  •       High blood pressure
  •       Trouble sleeping
  •       Weak bones that can break easily




Although acute kidney failure can put an individual through a difficult time, the kidneys often return to their normal functioning after the underlying cause is treated. The most common causes of acute kidney failure are:


  •       Sudden blockage of the ureters, which are the kidneys’ urine drainage tubes
  •       High blood pressure
  •       Swelling of the kidney
  •       Direct damage to the kidneys
  •       Low blood flow


Chronic kidney disease results in a permanent loss of kidney function. Its most common causes are:


  •       Kidney damage, also known as, chronic glomerulonephritis
  •       High blood sugar, that is, diabetes
  •       High blood pressure
  •       Polycystic kidney disease
  •       Blocked urinary tract




A visit to Prof. Dr. Iffat Yazdani can reveal the type of kidney failure you have, and its causes. After diagnosis, appropriate treatment is given. This is how both types of kidney failure is treated:


  •       Acute Kidney Failure

To begin with, the cause is investigated to treat the problem. In most cases, dialysis is recommended to treat the disease. Dialysis takes place through a machine and is an effective way to remove extra salt, potassium, acid, and waste products from the blood.


  •       Chronic Kidney Failure

Treating the underlying causes can slow down the progress of disease. But since it is usually diagnosed pretty late, the goal is to prevent it from progressing into an advanced or end-stage kidney disease. When kidney function falls below ten percent, dialysis or kidney transplant are the only way to treat the problem. Both treatments are pretty costly. For a kidney transplant, a match needs to be found. Living donors are most often family members of the patient. Doctors usually recommend a kidney transplant over dialysis since the new healthy kidney has higher chances of lasting longer.