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What Can Cause Kidney Failure: A Comprehensive Guide

Kidney failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease, happens when the kidneys can no longer filter waste from the blood and control the amount of fluid in the body. Kidney failure can occur suddenly or over time So, what can cause kidney failure?

Dialysis or a kidney transplant are required for people with renal failure to live.

It is not a given that if people have renal disease, people will get kidney failure. Over 23,000 Australians undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant for kidney failure, and one in ten Australians aged 18 and over (roughly 1.7 million people) has at least one indication of chronic renal disease.

It’s possible to lose up to 90% of overall kidney function before seeing any symptoms. The symptoms of renal disease are sometimes not identified until the kidneys are on the verge of failing.

Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

People with kidney disease may have no symptoms in the early stages. In fact, some persons experience no symptoms until their kidney function has been reduced to less than 90%. This is regrettable because early detection and treatment of renal disease is critical for avoiding kidney failure.

Kidney disease can cause the following symptoms:

  • Tiredness
  • A decrease in appetite
  • Sleeping problems
  • Headaches
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Breathing problems
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Variations in the amount and frequency of urine passing
  • Puffiness in the legs and ankles pain in the kidney area
  • Changes in the appearance of urine or blood in the urine
  • High blood pressure
  • Itching
  • Poor breath
  • A metallic taste in the tongue

Other disorders can produce these symptoms, but if people are in a high-risk group for renal disease, check with doctor.

Kidney Failure: A Comprehensive Guide

what can cause kidney failure?

Kidney failure can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Diabetes (diabetic kidney disease)– Diabetes, even if well-managed, can harm the kidneys.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • Glomerulonephritis– The microscopic filtering units (nephrons) in the kidney enlarge or become inflamed. Nephritis is another name for kidney disease.
  • Polycystic kidney disease– hundreds of cysts grow in the kidneys due to a hereditary problem.
  • Urinary reflux (reflux nephropathy)– An issue with the bladder valve that permits urine to flow back into the kidneys, resulting in scarring.
  • Medications– Lithium and cyclosporin are two medicines that might cause renal failure. Misuse of compound analgesic medicines (now prohibited) was historically a prevalent cause of kidney injury that could be permanent. When taken at regular therapeutic levels, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines (NSAIDs) can cause acute renal failure.
  • medullary cystic kidney disease (MCKD)– a genetic kidney condition in which cysts in the kidneys cause the kidneys to gradually lose their ability to function correctly.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

The progression of renal disease is often slow, and kidney function deteriorates over time. Chronic renal disease is defined as the persistent loss of more than 40% of kidney function (CKD). Kidney failure may result as a result of this.

People are more likely to develop CKD if people decide:

  • Suffer from diabetes
  • Blood pressure is too high
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Are over the age of 60
  • Have a first or second degree relative who has had end-stage renal illness or inherited kidney disease
  • Have established heart problems (heart failure or a past heart attack) or have had a stroke
  • Smoke
  • Have a history of acute kidney injury
  • Are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

The likelihood of renal failure as a result of CKD is determined by the extent of kidney damage. If kidney disease is detected early, medicines combined with dietary and lifestyle adjustments can help healthy kidneys live longer.

If people have one or more of the risk factors for CKD, then should get overall kidney function checked by ones doctor.

Acute Kidney Failure

Acute kidney failure is an abrupt decline in kidney function. This is potentially life-threatening and necessitates emergency medical attention. Acute renal failure can be categorized into three categories:

  • Pre-renal (blood supply to the kidneys is reduced)
  • Kidneys (damage to the kidney itself
  • After-renal (obstructions in other parts of the urinary tract).

Acute kidney failure is frequently transient, and many persons with acute renal failure require dialysis while their kidneys recover.

Controlling blood pressure and blood chemistry while waiting for renal function to restore is sometimes the only therapy option.

Acute kidney failure patients’ outcomes are determined by the underlying aetiology and the presence or absence of additional medical problems.

When the cause is pre-renal or post-renal, the kidneys usually recover quickly once the culprit is removed. Chronic (ongoing) renal failure is less common than acute kidney failure.

Kidney Failure: A Comprehensive Guide

Diagnosis Of Kidney Failure

Kidney function can be assessed using a variety of assays. If CKD is discovered, tests may be conducted to determine the following:

  • What is the cause of renal damage?
  • The number of therapeutic options for kidney impairment

Tests can include:

  • Urine tests for albumin, blood, glucose, and red or white blood cells to determine the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), which assesses how successfully the kidneys filter wastes from the blood.
  • To capture photographs of their kidneys using ultrasound, computed tomography (CT scan), x-ray, and other imaging techniques
  • A kidney biopsy is a procedure that involves removing a small bit of kidney tissue with a needle and examining it under a microscope.

Treatment For Kidney Failure

The following are some of the therapy options for renal failure:

  • Dialysis
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Non-dialysis supportive care.

When less than 10% of kidney function remains, dialysis or kidney transplants are required. Renal replacement therapy is another name for these treatments (RRT). Non-dialysis supportive care is a viable alternative to dialysis or kidney transplantation for some people.


Kidney failure can occur suddenly or over time. Acute renal failure is usually only temporary, although it necessitates therapy until kidney function is restored.

Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition that is linked to a number of risk factors, including diabetes and high blood pressure. If chronic kidney disease is caught early enough, medication and lifestyle adjustments might help healthy kidneys live longer.

Dialysis, transplantation, and non-dialysis supportive care are all possibilities for kidney failure treatment.

Kidney Failure: A Comprehensive Guide
Read Also: Know Everything About Kidney Stone: A Comprehensive Guide

People May Ask

How Can Your Kidneys Be Damaged?

A physical injury or an illness such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or other disorders can cause kidney impairment. Kidney failure is most commonly caused by high blood pressure and diabetes.

Does COVID 19 Damage Your Kidneys?

High levels of protein in the urine and abnormal blood tests are signs of kidney issues in COVID-19 individuals. Kidney damage can be severe enough to necessitate dialysis in rare circumstances.

Can Kidneys Repair Themselves?

It was previously considered that kidney cells stopped reproducing once the organ was fully developed, but recent study demonstrates that the kidneys continue to regenerate and heal throughout life.

Can Exercise Damage The Kidneys?

This can result in a variety of issues, including muscle discomfort, weakness, and dark or brown urine. The damage can be severe enough to cause renal damage. One of the causes is intense physical exertion.

Why Do Kidneys Hurt After Exercise?

Muscle injury occurs as a result of exercise, and damaged muscles release myoglobin, which must be excreted through the kidneys. Myoglobin levels that are too high can harm the kidneys severely.


The opinions presented in this article should not be regarded as a replacement for medical advice. For more information, please contact your treating physician.

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