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Kidney failure occurs when damage results in loss of normal kidney function. It may also be called end stage renal disease (ESRD). There are 2 types of kidney failure — acute and chronic.
Conditions that may lead to acute or chronic kidney failure may include:
The symptoms for acute and chronic renal failure may be different. These are the most common.
The symptoms of acute and chronic kidney failure may look like other health problems. Always consult your health care provider for a diagnosis. You may be referred to a kidney specialist known as a nephrologist.
Your doctor will review your medical history and do a physical exam. Other tests may include:
Your health care provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
Treatment may include hospitalization and:
In some cases, you can have electrolyte problems and toxic levels of waste products normally removed by the kidneys. You may also develop fluid overload. Dialysis may be needed in these cases.
Treatment of chronic kidney failure depends on the how much kidney function you still have.
Dialysis is used to treat both acute and chronic kidney failure. It involves removing waste substances and fluid from the blood that are normally removed by the kidneys. Dialysis may also be used for people who have been exposed to or ingested toxic substances. In this case, dialysis is used to prevent kidney failure. There are two types of dialysis; peritoneal and hemodialysis.
Peritoneal dialysis is done by surgically placing a soft, hollow tube, called a catheter, into the lower abdomen near the navel. A solution called dialysate is passed through the tube into the peritoneal cavity. This is the space in the abdomen that houses the organs. It is lined by 2 membrane layers called the peritoneum. The solution is left in the abdomen for a certain amount of time. There, it soaks up the waste products and toxins through the peritoneum. The fluid is drained from the abdomen, measured and discarded. There are 3 different types of peritoneal dialysis:
A dietitian will help you plan your meals based on your doctor's orders. Generally:
Hemodialysis can be done at home or in a dialysis center or hospital. An access site is surgically made, usually in your arm. This involves joining an artery and a vein together. After access has been made, you will be connected to a large hemodialysis machine that drains the blood. The blood is bathed in a dialysate solution which removes waste substances and fluid. Then the clean blood is returned to your bloodstream.Hemodialysis is usually done several times a week and lasts for 4 to 5 hours. During treatment you can read, write, sleep, talk, or watch TV.At home, hemodialysis is done with the help of a partner, often a family member or friend. If you choose to do home hemodialysis, you and your partner will get training.Possible complications of hemodialysis include muscle cramps and a sudden drop in blood pressure. This may cause you to feel dizzy or weak, or sick to your stomach.
By following the proper diet and taking medications, as prescribed by your doctor, you may be able to avoid complications. A dietitian will work with you to plan your meals, according to your doctor's orders. Generally:
Other treatment options may include:
Because the kidneys have many functions, the complications of kidney failure can affect many body systems. Complications may include:
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