What is it?

Renal or kidney failure is a term that indicates a situation in which the kidneys do not work as well as they should. Renal failure includes many conditions that lead to the damaged function such as shock, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, obstructive conditions such as kidney stones or a scar tissue. There are two types of kidney failure- acute and chronic. Uremia is toxins accumulation in the blood, which results from insufficient kidney filtration. Uremia could be a sign for end stage kidney disease, but it can also occur quickly in an acute kidney failure, and then could be reversible. Left untreated, uremia can lead to serious health problems or death.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Chronic kidney disease on dialysis
- End stage renal failure on dialysis
- Renal failure on dialysis
- Uremia
- Renal Failure

Signs & symptoms

Symptoms of acute renal failure may include edema, internal bleeding, confusion, seizures, coma, abnormal blood and urine tests and high blood pressure. Patients with chronic renal failure usually do not have any symptoms, until the kidney’s function is down to 20%. Then, symptoms may include abnormal blood and urine tests,high blood pressure, weight loss, anemia, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, shortness of breath, chest pain, numbness, tingling, coma, seizures, confusion, easy bruising, itching, fatigue, headaches, muscle twitching, weak bones, jaundice, edema and problem sleeping.In very severe instances, symptoms may include uremic fetor (a urine-like odor on the breath or metallic taste in the mouth) and uremic frost (yellow-white crystals on the skin due to urea in sweat).


Diagnosis of kidney failure is typically made by creatinine levels in blood- which stands for the kidney filtration ability. BUN and creatinine help confirm a uremia diagnosis.


Acute kidney failure treatment is done by treating underlying cause such as blood pressure, kidney stones etc. Sometimes,dialysis may be needed for a short period. Treating the underlying cause in chronic renal failure is also important but it can only slow down the disease. Chronic renal failure may lead to end stage renal disease, treated by dialysis or kidney transplant.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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