As a rule, people do not think much about their body until something goes wrong. This is also the case of those suffering from an acute renal failure. As you breathe and walk, your internal organs continue to work to keep your body healthy. This includes the heart, lungs, kidneys, stomach, intestines and other parts that automatically work with no extra help from you. This is what makes it a shock when something goes wrong.
One of the most important parts of this intricate system is the kidneys that filter the poisons from your blood and keep your body healthy. When the kidneys become unable to filter waste from the blood a condition called acute renal failure occurs. This is something that can happen suddenly unless one is aware of the signs that indicate this problem. Mayo Clinic writes, “Signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly.”
U.S. statistics show that “an overall prevalence of chronic kidney disease in the general population is approximately 14 percent. Almost half of individuals with chronic kidney disease also struggle with diabetes and self-reported cardiovascular disease. More than 661,000 Americans have kidney failure. Dec. 6, 2015”.
Acute Renal Failure Has Been Traced to the Following Issues
- High blood pressure.
- Continued obstruction of the urinary tract.
- Urine backing up into the kidneys.
- Continued kidney infection.
- Inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units.
- Polycystic kidney disease.
- Type 1 or 2 diabetes.
- Reflux (urine backup).
- Recurrent kidney infection.
- Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome from E. Coli infection
Unfortunately, with the many conditions that occur from day to day, trouble with the kidneys can be disguised by other symptoms. This makes it difficult to immediately recognize the problem. Moreover, it makes it important to pay attention to daily changes in your overall health condition if you are to avoid unexpected problems.
Common Signs of a Kidney Problem
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Shortness of breath.
- Loss of appetite.
- Muscle cramps.
- Chest pains.
- Other illnesses.
Other indications that the body has a problem with a chronic kidney disease include things such as difficulty concentrating, fluid retention, increased risk of bone fractures, decreased sex drive, heart disease, and anemia. These are things you would not automatically connect with something such as acute renal failure.
Recovering from an acute renal failure depends on a number of factors. These include how advanced the disease is and your current physical condition. Treatment for acute renal failure, as a rule, requires a hospital stay. However, in some cases, it is possible to recover at home.
- Your doctor will determine if you have too much fluid in your blood, which causes swelling in the arms and legs. In this case, you will be given diuretics to encourage expelling the extra fluids. If there are too few fluids, the doctor may recommend the application of intravenous (IV) fluids.
- The amount of potassium that your blood contains will be determined, and the proper medication applied. If it is too low, calcium, sodium polystyrene sulfonate or glucose may be prescribed. Too much potassium will cause irregular heartbeats and muscle weakness.
- Medications will be provided to restore blood calcium levels. If calcium is too low an infusion of calcium may be required. Most calcium is located in the bones and teeth. It is also needed to help muscles and blood vessels expand and contract.
- If there is an excess of toxins and excess fluids in the body, you may receive a temporary dialysis treatment. During this treatment, a machine pumps your blood into an artificial kidney, filters out the waste, and returns the blood to your body.
If the acute renal failure is not in the advanced stage, it is possible to obtain a full recovery. However, it is important that you follow the doctor’s instructions regarding your diet until a full recovery is obtained. At that time you can return to a regular diet.
How to Prevent an Acute Renal Failure
- Choose lower potassium foods. Avoid high-potassium foods such as oranges, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes and spinach. Concentrate on low-potassium foods such as cabbage, grapes, apples and strawberries.
- Avoid salty products such as salty snack foods, processed meats, cheeses and canned vegetables. This will lower the amount of sodium in your blood.
- Limit the amount of phosphorus which is found in milk, cheese, nuts, dried beans and peanut butter. Too much phosphorus weakens the bones.
Your doctor may also recommend a dietitian who can assist you in determining the diet that will be able to analyze your current diet and assist you in selecting foods that are both beneficial and enjoyable.
Although the kidneys can often return to normal, with the correct medical treatment, the development of acute renal failure can sometimes lead to the need for permanent dialysis treatment or a heart transplant.
Studies Related to Smoking, Alcohol & Acute Renal Failure
Studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that smoking harms nearly every organ of the body. Their 1978 study showed a connection between smoking and kidney disease, which is supported by current studies. Another study by the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) showed that smoking is harmful to the kidneys and can cause an excessive amount of protein in the urine, as well as other problems.
A report by the National Kidney Foundation reports that excessive drinking (more than four drinks daily) can seriously impact your health and lead to kidney disease. Also, alcohol creates changes in the kidneys’ function and makes them less able to filter your blood. Alcohol also affects the body’s ability to regulate both fluid and electrolytes in the body. Avoiding alcohol and smoking is strongly recommended for people who have or have had acute renal failure problems.
Putting It All Together
Having a kidney failure can be a frightening experience. Fortunately, if caught early enough, it is possible to obtain a full recovery. This leads to the conclusion that it is important to follow a healthy lifestyle and observe any changes in the body if you want to avoid an acute renal failure.