Acute Kidney Failure

What Is Acute Kidney Failure?

Acute kidney failure takes place when your kidneys unexpectedly lose the capability to remove excess salts, fluids, and waste products from the blood. This elimination is the core of your kidneys’ main function. Body fluids can increase to hazardous levels when kidneys lose their filtering capability. The condition will likewise cause electrolytes and waste product to collect in your body, which can likewise be deadly.

Acute kidney failure is likewise called acute kidney injury or acute kidney failure. It’s common in individuals who are already in the health center. It may develop quickly over a couple of hours. It can also develop over a couple of days to weeks. Individuals who are critically ill and require extensive care have the highest risk of developing acute kidney failure.

Acute kidney failure can be dangerous and needs extensive treatment. Nevertheless, it may be reversible. If you’re in health otherwise, recovery is possible.

Causes for Acute Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure can occur for numerous reasons. Among the most common reasons are:

  • acute tubular necrosis (ATN).
  • extreme or sudden dehydration.
  • hazardous kidney injury from toxins or specific medications.
  • autoimmune kidney conditions, such as acute nephritic syndrome and interstitial nephritis.
  • urinary tract obstruction.

Decreased blood flow can damage your kidneys. The following conditions can result in reduced blood flow to your kidneys:

  • low high blood pressure.
  • burns.
  • dehydration.
  • hemorrhage.
  • injury.
  • septic shock.
  • serious health problem.
  • surgery.

Certain conditions can cause clotting within your kidney’s capillary, and this can result in acute kidney failure. These conditions consist of:

  • hemolytic uremic syndrome.
  • idiopathic thrombocytopenic thrombotic purpura (ITTP).
  • deadly hypertension.
  • transfusion response.
  • scleroderma.

Some infections, such as septicemia and acute pyelonephritis, can directly hurt your kidneys.

Pregnancy can also cause complications that hurt the kidneys, consisting of placenta previa and placenta abruption.

What Are the Risk Factors for Acute Kidney Failure?

The possibilities of obtaining acute kidney failure are higher if you’re an older individual or if you have any of the following long-term health problems:.

  • kidney disease.
  • liver disease.
  • diabetes, especially if it’s not well managed.
  • hypertension.
  • heart failure.
  • morbid obesity.

If you’re ill or being treated in a medical facility’s intensive care system, you’re at an incredibly high risk for acute kidney failure. Being the recipient of heart surgery, abdominal surgery, or a bone marrow transplant can likewise increase your risk.

Signs & Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure

The symptoms of acute kidney failure include:.

  • bloody stools.
  • breath smell.
  • sluggish, slow motions.
  • generalized swelling or fluid retention.
  • fatigue.
  • pain between ribs and hips.
  • hand tremor.
  • bruising easily.
  • changes in mental status or state of mind, specifically if you’re older.
  • reduced hunger.
  • decreased experience, specifically in your hands or feet.
  • long term bleeding.
  • seizures.
  • nausea & vomiting.
  • high blood pressure.
  • a metal taste in your mouth.

How Is Acute Kidney Failure Identified?

If you have acute kidney failure, you may have generalized swelling. The swelling is due to fluid retention.

Using a stethoscope, your physician may hear crackling in the lungs. These sounds can indicate fluid retention.

Results of laboratory tests may also show abnormal values, which are brand-new and different from baseline levels. A few of these tests consist of:.

  • blood urea nitrogen (BUN).
  • serum potassium.
  • serum sodium.
  • approximated glomerular filtering rate (eGFR).
  • urinalysis.
  • creatinine clearance.
  • serum creatinine.

An ultrasound is the preferred method for identifying acute kidney failure. However, abdominal X-ray, stomach CT scan, and abdominal MRI can help your physician determine if there’s a blockage in your urinary system.

Certain blood tests might likewise reveal underlying causes of acute kidney failure.

Treatment for Acute Kidney Failure

Your treatment will depend on the cause of your acute kidney failure. The goal is to restore typical kidney function. Preventing fluids and wastes from developing in your body while your kidneys recover is necessary. In the bulk of cases, a kidney professional called a “nephrologist” makes an assessment.

Your physician will limit your diet and the amount of liquids you consume. This will minimize the buildup of contaminants that the kidneys would typically remove. A diet plan high in carbs and low in protein, salt, and potassium is generally recommended.

Your physician might recommend prescription antibiotics to treat or avoid any infections that occur at the very same time. Diuretics may help your kidneys eliminate fluid. Calcium and insulin can assist avoid harmful increases in your blood potassium levels.

You may require dialysis, however it’s not constantly necessary. Dialysis involves diverting blood out of your body into a device that filters out waste. The clean blood then returns to your body. If your potassium levels are dangerously high, dialysis can save your life. Dialysis is necessary if there are modifications in your mental status or if you stop urinating. You may also need dialysis if you develop pericarditis or swelling of the heart. Dialysis can help get rid of nitrogen waste items from your body.


Some of the complications of acute kidney failure include:

  • chronic kidney failure.
  • heart damage.
  • worried system damage.
  • end-stage renal failure.
  • hypertension.

Acute Kidney Failure Prevention

Avoiding and relieving health problems that can result in acute kidney failure is the very best approach for preventing the disease. According to the Mayo Center, having a healthy lifestyle that includes regular physical activity and a practical diet can help to prevent kidney failure. Deal with your physician to handle existing medical conditions that might result in acute kidney failure.

What Is the Long-Term Outlook?

Acute kidney failure can be a lethal disease. Chronic renal failure or end-stage kidney disease can establish. There’s a greater risk of death if kidney failure is brought on by severe infection, injury, or surgery.

The following can likewise increase the risk of death:

  • lung disease.
  • current stroke.
  • advanced age.
  • blood loss.
  • progressive kidney failure.

With correct treatment and diligence, your possibilities of recovery are excellent. Look for instant and regular treatment for acute kidney failure, and ask your doctor concerns about exactly what you can do to heal quicker.

Last modified: August 7, 2016


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures.

Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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