• Questions to ask your Doctor
  • Choose Quality Care

Kidney Failure

When the kidney is damaged, the kidney would not be able to properly function, primarily resulting in retention of waste products and water, as well as, imbalance of the salt and minerals within the body. All of which characterizes a condition known as kidney failure.  Kidney failure may also lead to an increase in blood pressure and decreased production of red blood cells


The symptoms would vary in severity, depending on the acuteness or chronicity of the condition, as well as, the severity of the kidney or renal failure.  Many cases may present with one or more of the following symptoms.

  • Changes in urine output, either a decrease in urination, increase in urine output especially at night, difficulty or stoppage of urine excretion.
  • Edema or swelling, particularly of the feet and legs and around the eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue, weakness and lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps and twitches
  • Persistent body itching
  • Increase in blood pressure
  • Anemia

Diagnostic Tests

Various tests may be performed to confirm the diagnosis of kidney failure following a Q and A session with Your Doctor.

  • Laboratory Tests- complete blood count, urinalysis, BUN, serum creatinine, sodium and potassium, creatinine clearance.
  • Ultrasound, kidney or abdominal

Treatment and Outcome

In the case of kidney failure, management would include identifying the cause of the failure and employing treatment measures to try to normalize kidney function as much as possible.  Symptomatic relief should also part of the treatment regimen, including the administration of diuretics, anti-emetics and correction of electrolyte imbalance when necessary.  Proper dietary management is also important to the success of the treatment.

In cases whereby there is a root cause that may be remedied to resolve kidney failure, specific treatment modalities may be employed. Depending on the severity of the failure and the presence of complications, more aggressive treatment modalities may include hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis.  In end-stage renal disease or cases in which prognosis is not good, a kidney transplant is highly considered.  Both dialysis and kidney transplant may extend life, as well as, improve the quality of life.

It is important to recognize that medications and medical procedures are associated with benefits and risks that should be discussed with your physician. It is important to recognize that all information contained on this website cannot be considered to be specific medical diagnosis, medical treatment, or medical advice. As always, you should consult with a physician regarding any medical condition. Your Health Access disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.