Humans usually have two kidneys. These kidneys have many functions which include:
Renal failure is also known as kidney failure. It is a medical condition in which the kidneys fail to adequately filter waste products from the blood. Renal failure is mainly determined by a decrease in glomerular filtration rate, the rate at which blood is filtered in the glomeruli of the kidney. This is detected by a decrease in or absence of urine production or discovery of excess or increasing levels of waste products ((creatinine and urea) in the blood.
If the kidneys fail to filter waste products from the blood, the filtering must be done artificially and blood pressure may have to be controlled by medication. End stage Renal Failure (ESRF) or Established Renal Failure (ERF) is when kidney function is so bad that one is likely to die within weeks or months unless special treatment such as dialysis or transplantation is given.
Renal failure is mainly determined by a decrease in glomerular filtration rate, the rate at which blood is filtered in the glomeruli of the kidney. This is detected by a decrease in or absence of urine production or determination of waste products (creatinine or urea) in the blood. Depending on the cause, hematuria (blood loss in the urine) and proteinuria (protein loss in the urine) may be noted.
In renal failure, there may be problems with increased fluid in the body (leading to swelling), increased acid levels, raised levels of potassium, decreased levels of calcium, increased levels of phosphate, and in later stages anemia. Bone health may also be affected. Long-term kidney problems are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease
There are two main forms of Renal failure:
Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), previously called Acute Renal Failure (ARF) - This is often reversible with adequate treatment. It is a rapidly progressive loss of renal function, generally characterized by oliguria (decreased urine production, quantified as less than 400 mL per day in adults, less than 0.5 mL/kg/h in children or less than 1 mL/kg/h in infants); and fluid and electrolyte imbalance. AKI can result from a variety of causes, generally classified as prerenal, intrinsic, and postrenal. The underlying cause must be identified and treated to arrest the progress, and dialysis may be necessary to bridge the time gap required for treating these fundamental causes.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) This is often not reversible. It can also develop slowly and, initially, show few symptoms. CKD can be the long term consequence of irreversible acute disease or part of a disease progression.
Symptoms vary from person to person. Someone in early stage of kidney disease may not feel sick or notice symptoms as they occur. Waste accumulates in the blood and the body when kidneys fail to filter properly, Accumulation of urea in excess amount is called Azotemia (when there are no symptoms) and Uraemia (when there are symptoms).
The following are the symptoms of kidney failure:
Acute kidney injury (previously known as acute renal failure) - or AKI - usually occurs when the blood supply to the kidneys is suddenly interrupted or when the kidneys become overloaded with toxins. Causes of acute kidney injury include:
The following are the causes of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD):
The following are the treatment options for renal failure: