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Acute and Chronic Renal Failure

Acute Renal Failure

Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys are unable to rid your blood of waste products. You may find that your blood's chemical makeup becomes out of balance when your kidneys lose their ability to filter wastes. In addition to acute kidney failure or acute renal failure, acute kidney injury is also known as acute kidney injury since it generally happens in just a few days. Intensive treatment is required for kidney failure that is acute. This condition is, however, reversible.


Acute kidney failure can present with symptoms such as:
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures and coma
  • Fatigue
  • Confusion
  • Fluid retention
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased urine output
Lab tests ordered for another reason can detect acute kidney failure without presenting any symptoms.

Other complications -
Acute kidney failure may result in the following complications:
  • Chest pain - Chest pain is caused by an inflammation of your heart lining (pericardium).
  • Permanent kidney damage - End-stage renal disease, or kidney failure caused by acute kidney injury, can result in permanent kidney damage. A person with ESRD must be on dialysis permanently - a mechanical filtration system used to remove wastes and toxins from the body - or have a kidney transplant to live.
  • Fluid build-up - Shortness of breath may be caused by acute kidney failure, which can cause fluid to accumulate in your lungs.
  • Muscle weakness - You can experience muscle weakness when your body's electrolytes and fluids are out of balance - your blood chemistry.
  • Death - Acute kidney failure can cause kidney damage and death.


The kidneys can fail rapidly when:
  • The blood flow to your kidneys is slowed by a condition
  • Your kidneys are directly damaged
  • The ureters in your kidneys become blocked, causing wastes to stay inside your body and cannot be removed by your urine
An impaired flow of blood to the kidneys
Conditions and diseases that reduce the flow of blood to the kidneys can lead to kidney injury.
  • Liver failure
  • Heart attack
  • Severe dehydration
  • Heart disease
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Severe burn
  • Use of aspirin
  • Infections
A kidney injury
Acute kidney failure may be caused by these diseases, conditions and agents:
  • The kidneys are affected by blood clots that block vessels and arteries around them
  • Depositions of cholesterol obstructing kidney blood flow
  • The inflammation of the kidneys' tiny filters (glomeruli) is known as glomerulonephritis.
  • Blood cells are prematurely destroyed in hemolytic uremic syndrome, which results in red blood cells being ruined
  • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus-borne illness that is contagious.
  • Inflammatory disorders of the immune system can cause glomerulonephritis
  • Medicines used for imaging tests, such as chemotherapy drugs, antimicrobials, and dyes
  • There is only a small number of people who are affected by the disease and it affects only the skin and connective tissues
  • The rare blood disorder thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
Kidney blockage due to urine obstruction

Conditions and diseases that can lead to acute kidney injury include urinary obstructions, which impede the flow of urine from the body.
  • Colon cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Kidney stones
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Bladder cancer
  • Nerve damage
  • Cervical cancer

Chronic renal failure

Your kidneys are responsible for filtering your blood of waste products and excess fluid. The waste products are then eliminated by urine. When kidney function is lost over an extended period of time, it is considered chronic kidney failure. As the disease progresses, your body becomes filled with dangerous amounts of wastes and fluids. Chronic kidney disease is also known as this condition.


In the early stages of kidney failure, many of the signs and symptoms are confusing. It is therefore difficult to diagnose.

Symptoms of early infection include:
  • Itching
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Uncontrollable high blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
When your kidneys are damaged, you will experience symptoms over time. It is still possible that the real damage isn't done until many other damages have already occurred. Symptoms of late-stage disease include:
  • Weakness
  • Cramps and twitches
  • Insomnia
  • Bone pain
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive thirst
  • Numbness in limbs
The following complications can also occur as a result of chronic kidney disease:
  • Bone health can be affected by vitamin D deficiency
  • High blood pressure
  • Damage to the nerves that can lead to seizures
  • Inflammation of your lungs or other parts of your body caused by fluid buildup


Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney failure.
Among the causes are:
  • Recurring kidney infections
  • Autoimmune disorders
  • Congenital kidney diseases
  • Damage to kidney function
  • Inflammation in your kidneys
Chronic kidney failure is more likely if:
  • Obese
  • High cholesterol
  • 65+ age
  • Have a family history of kidney disease
  • Smoke
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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