The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining the body's overall health by filtering out waste and extra fluids from the blood and producing urine. When the kidneys fail, these waste products and fluids can build up in the body, causing a range of symptoms and potentially life-threatening complications.
What are the Types of Kidney Failure Diseases?
There are five types of kidney failure that have been identified.
- Acute Prerenal Renal Failure: This type of kidney failure occurs when there is insufficient blood flow to the kidneys. The kidneys cannot filter toxins because there is not enough blood flow, and acute prerenal kidney failure occurs.
- Acute Intrinsic Renal Failure: It occurs due to direct severe injuries or traumas to the kidneys. It may occur due to an excessive load on the kidneys and the resulting oxygen deficiency. Severe bleeding, shock, occlusion of blood vessels in the kidney, and glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the blood vessels in the kidney) can cause acute intrinsic kidney failure.
- Chronic Prerenal Kidney Failure: It is caused by the kidneys shrinking and losing their function due to the slowing of the blood flow to the kidneys for a long time.
- Chronic Intrinsic Kidney Failure: Occurs when long-term damage to the kidneys occurs due to intrinsic kidney disease. Intrinsic kidney disease occurs due to direct trauma to the kidneys, such as severe bleeding or lack of oxygen.
- Chronic Post-Renal Kidney Failure: The pressure caused by the long-term obstruction of the urinary tract causes kidney damage, and thus this type of kidney failure occurs.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF CHRONIC RENAL FAILURE?
The causes of chronic kidney failure can vary. Chronic kidney failure can occur due to preventable causes as well as different diseases.
Diabetes: The most common cause of chronic kidney failure is diabetes, popularly known as diabetes mellitus. High blood sugar levels can cause kidney failure by damaging the small filters in the kidneys.
Hypertension: Hypertension, popularly known as high blood pressure, is known as the cause of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, but it can also affect the kidneys. Over time, high blood pressure can strain the small blood vessels in the kidneys and prevent them from working properly. High blood pressure can cause kidney failure, and vice versa, kidney failure can also cause high blood pressure.
Glomerulonephritis: The kidneys have small filtering units called glomeruli. Inflammation of the filtration units glomeruli can cause kidney failure.
Interstitial nephritis: Inflammation of the kidney ducts and surrounding structures can cause chronic kidney failure.
Polycystic kidney disease: Polycystic kidney disease is the most common inherited kidney disease. It occurs with the formation of kidney cysts that expand over time and can cause serious kidney damage and even kidney failure. Other inherited diseases affecting the kidneys are Polycystic kidney disease, Fabry Disease, Alport Syndrome, primary hyperoxaluria, and cystinuria.
Diseases that block the urinary tract, such as prostate: Benign prostate or prostate cancer, bladder cancer, kidney stones, kidney cancer, infections, and urinary tract obstructions such as blood clots in the urinary tract can lead to kidney failure.
Causes that prevent blood flow to the kidney: Problems that stop or reduce blood flow to the kidneys, such as heart attacks or heart diseases, liver failure, severe burns, or an allergic reaction, may predispose to kidney failure.
- Overexposure to toxins from heavy metals
- Drugs and alcohol
- Vasculitis is an inflammation of the blood vessels.
- Lupus is an autoimmune condition that can cause inflammation in your organs.
- Certain types of cancer or chemotherapy drugs
- Unnecessary drug use
Symptom of Kidney Failure
Symptoms of chronic kidney failure often occur in the advanced stages of kidney failure and can be very diverse.
- High blood pressure
- Edema is one of the symptoms of chronic renal failure.
The following urinary findings can be seen in chronic renal failure:
- Color changes, such as tea-colored urine,
- Foamy urine,
- Urinating frequently at night
- In advanced stages, there is a decrease in the amount of urine.
Patients with advanced stages of chronic renal failure,
- Shortness of breath
- He or she may apply to a physician with complaints of altered consciousness.
What are the Stages of Kidney Failure?
The stages of kidney failure are generally classified into five different stages according to the severity of the disease. As the stage of kidney failure in a person progresses, the complications caused by the disease increase and the symptoms become more severe.
Kidney Failure, Stage 1
The first stage is one that progresses quite mildly, and the symptoms are not very obvious. Most patients do not experience any clear signs of kidney failure. Damage to the kidneys is also minimal. People with stage 1 kidney failure can prevent the progression of the disease if they change their lifestyle in a positive way.
Among the lifestyle changes that a person can make are doing sports regularly, giving up smoking and alcohol habits, keeping the fat rate under control, and eating healthy. However, getting rid of the disease at this stage is not as easy as it seems, because most people do not need to go to the doctor and change their lifestyle, as it is very difficult to notice the disease in the first stage.
Kidney Failure, Stage 2
People with second-stage kidney failure do not have severe symptoms similar to those of the first stage. However, it can be determined that there is a degree of physical damage to the kidneys of people in this stage, and a decrease in the urine filtering function of the kidney is observed compared to the normal first stage. Lifestyle changes are recommended for people with stage 2 kidney failure, just like in stage 1.
Kidney Failure, Stage 3
In the third stage of kidney failure, the symptoms of the disease become palpable, and various physical symptoms appear in the body. Depending on the progression of the disease, swelling is seen in the hands, feet, and ankles of the person. In addition, the person's urine pattern also changes. It is divided into two stages, 3A and 3B, according to the progression of the disease. During this phase, the urine filtering function is reduced by about half. At this stage, in addition to lifestyle changes, the person should start using medication, and the conditions that cause kidney failure should be detected and treated.
Kidney Failure, Stage 4
At this stage, the symptoms of kidney failure become more severe. In a normal kidney, the urine filtering function of the kidney is 90 ml/min and above, while the urine filtering function of the kidney drops between 15 and 29 ml/min at this stage. The person's kidneys are not yet completely disabled, but the kidneys have largely lost their function. Serious symptoms that may occur at this stage include serious health problems such as high blood pressure (hypertension), bone disease, and anemia.
Kidney Failure, End Stage (Stage 5)
In patients with end-stage renal failure, renal function is almost completely impaired. Urine filtering capacity has decreased below 15 ml/min and therefore advanced treatments such as dialysis or kidney transplants are required. At this stage, the person now feels all the symptoms of kidney failure in his body. In addition to the previous symptoms, the person may experience nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, swelling, edema and skin itching.
How Does Early Diagnosis Change Outcome?
Renal diseases such as glomerulonephritis, which are treated in the acute phase and completely healed, can sometimes recur. If they are not followed up by a physician, they are successfully treated in these cases. If a diabetic patient's blood sugar is regular, blood pressure is controlled, outpatient follow-ups are appropriate, or if a person with familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) takes his treatment regularly, no kidney disease may develop. For this reason, effective treatments of diseases that can also affect the kidney, which we call systemic diseases, and regular follow-up of the patients are required.
Some kidney diseases, by their nature, tend to progress, that is, to become chronic. Controlling high blood pressure and urinary protein loss, which are the constant elements of the picture, with certain drugs and restricting salt and protein foods reduces the rate of progression in such diseases.
Treatment of Kidney Failure
Chronic renal failure should be treated by a nephrologist. Firstly;
- The weight problem should be solved in overweight patients,
- Smoking should be stopped,
- Uncontrolled drug intake should be avoided.
blood sugar if the patient has diabetes; In the presence of hypertension, blood pressure control should be ensured. Nutrition and adequate fluid intake are important. In addition to these, drug treatment that the physician deems appropriate is among the options. In advanced-stage chronic renal failure, there are two treatment options: dialysis treatment and kidney transplantation.
In more severe cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be necessary to replace the function of the failed kidneys.
In conclusion, kidney failure is a serious medical condition that can have a significant impact on a person's overall health and quality of life. Early detection and treatment are crucial to managing the condition and preventing complications. If you are experiencing any symptoms of kidney failure, it is important to seek prompt medical attention to determine the underlying cause and begin treatment as soon as possible.