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Acute Renal Failure Information, Facts

Acute renal failure, sometimes referred to as acute kidney failure, arises when the kidneys are unable to perform their main function which is to eliminate all the waste from the body. Acute renal failure pathophysiology includes tubular, vascular and glomerular dysfunction. Acute renal failure symptoms and effects may vary in severity according to the progression of the condition.  

Acute renal failure is marked by the increase in blood urea nitrogen or a rise in serum creatinine levels. Various blood and/or urine tests may be recommended to determine the type of renal failure.
Renal failure is divided into prerenal, intrarenal, and postrenal and this classification depends on the location of the point of failure. Acute renal failure lab values for urinary sodium levels generally indicate the type of failure as the values for intrarenal failure is about twice as much as that of prerenal failure. Your doctor will interpret the results of your test and then advise you on the next course of action.
It is important to be informed of certain pertinent prerenal acute renal failure facts. Prerenal acute renal failure is the result of decreased blood circulation to the kidneys. Kidney function is negatively affected and the kidneys are not able to carry out their normal blood cleansing functions at optimal levels. Causes of prerenal acute renal failure include severe blood loss, sepsis, heart failure and dehydration. Symptoms of prerenal acute renal failure include weight loss, thirst, rapid heart rate, dry mouth, dizziness, hypotension and so on. You can also explore information on chronic renal failure

Acute Renal Failure Stages

Acute renal failure means that the kidneys are not working properly. Sudden or acute renal failure is when the kidneys rapidly lose the ability to remove waste and concentrate from the body. There are many possible causes for this acute renal failure and some of these include injury, autoimmune kidney disease, tubular necrosis, and so on. There are different stages of acute renal failure.
  • Stage 2: Before we go on to discuss acute renal failure stage 2, it is important to remember that there are often no outright physical symptoms of kidney damage in the early stages. The only way to find out is through a blood test or a urine analysis. Kidney failure stages can be found out by determining the Glomerular Filtration Rate or GFR. At each stage, this GFR rate drops further and this indicates that renal function is even more impaired. The GFR value of a healthy kidney is 90mL/min or more. The GFR in acute renal failure stage 2 is 60 to 89mL/min.
  • Stage 1: The GFR for acute renal failure stage 3 is 30 to 59 mL/min. This GFR gives rise to symptoms like swelling, fluid retention and a change in the color of the urine – it may change from yellow to orange to red and even brown in some cases. Medical attention must be sought immediately in such a case to prevent permanent damage to the kidneys and their functioning.
  • Stage 4: Acute renal failure stage 4 is characterized by kidney failure symptoms. Blood urea levels rise rapidly and nerve damage may occur as well. The GFR for this stage is 15 to 29mL/min. The doctor may recommend a kidney transplant at this stage. Other options for treatment include hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis.
In acute renal failure, the diuretic stage lasts for about 10 days. During the early period of this stage, the patient may urinate more frequently due to the excessive excretion of fluids. End stage acute renal failure is also known as stage 5 of acute renal failure. In this stage, the kidneys can no longer function. The GFR may even be 0mL/min and patients may experience little or no urination. Long-term dialysis and kidney transplantation are the only options to deal with this stage of renal failure.

Symptoms Of Acute Renal Failure

Now that we are more aware of acute renal failure and the various stages, it is important to understand what acute renal failure symptoms are. Possibly the most frustrating part about acute renal failure symptoms is that during the early stages of this disease, there are no physical symptoms. As kidney failure progresses, however, the acute renal failure symptoms become obvious.

It is very important to note that acute renal failure signs in human beings differ from one individual to the next. If acute renal failure symptoms are ignored or remain undiagnosed, it could result in further damage to the kidneys. One of the most obvious and intrusive acute renal failure symptoms is pain – specifically back pain. Other symptoms include a sudden reduced urine output, headaches, drowsiness, loss of appetite, and feeling restless and confused. Frequent vomiting which may or may not be accompanied by diarrhea.

Postrenal acute renal failure symptoms include hypertension, edema, a distended bladder, difficulty in urination, severe hematuria (blood in the urine), as well as pain in the lower abdomen, lower back, genitals, and groin.

Causes Of Acute Renal Failure

What causes acute renal failure? It's causes could fall into any one of the three categories mentioned below. These are prerenal, postrenal and renal. In the first, the problems affect the flow of blood before it reaches the kidney. In the second, the problems affect the urine moving out of the kidneys. In the third, there is a problem with the kidney itself.

The causes of acute renal failure in children include hemolytic uremic syndrome and nephrotic syndrome. A congenital heart defect or heart failure in a child could also be the cause of acute renal failure in the child.  

There are also certain drugs that can cause acute renal failure. These include non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and some specific types of antibiotics. Medications that cause acute renal failure include some that are used to treat high blood pressure.

Treatment For Acute Renal Failure

Before we examine acute renal failure treatment guidelines, it is important to remember that the underlying cause for the renal failure needs to be treated before other treatment begins. One treatment for renal failure is dialysis. Other treatments include a modified diet as well as medications to prevent the excessive accumulation of potassium in the blood. Get details on foods to avoid kidney failure

Once the doctor has determined that the acute renal failure prognosis is not favorable, you may need to consider a kidney transplant. This acute renal failure cure or acute renal failure remedy is usually the last treatment recommended when all others fail. Kidneys may be acquired from family members or other donors.
Submitted on January 16, 2014