(Renal Failure; Renal Insufficiency)
by Diane Savitsky
Kidney failure is when your kidneys don’t work as they should. The kidneys clean the blood and make urine. They also level out the fluids in your body.
The 2 types are:
AKI is usually the result an injury, infection, or a toxin. Many long term health problems cause kidney function to decline over time. This causes wastes and fluids to build up in your blood.
The 2 most common causes are:
Other common causes:
Risk Factors TOP
Your risk is higher if you have:
Symptoms are usually not present in early stages. Later stages may cause:
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. You may also have:
Care focuses on slowing the process of disease. It can also help limit further damage. You will need care for other health problems that cause stress on your kidneys.
Care for AKI will focus on the cause such as treating an infection. You may get healthy enough for your kidneys to work normally.
Making changes may help your kidneys stay healthier longer. These may involve:
Medicines help manage:
Your doctor may also change medicines you take if they harm your kidneys.
Dialysis takes over the work of the kidneys. You may need it for a short time while they heal. Some people need it for life. Others use it until a kidney transplant is ready.
There are 2 main types:
Kidney Transplant TOP
A transplant may work for some people. A healthy kidney comes from a donor. It’s placed next to the existing kidney during surgery. The new kidney should work well enough for you to stop dialysis.
An effective transplant may depend on the cause of kidney damage and your overall health.
To lower your chances of kidney problems:
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
National Kidney Foundation
The Kidney Foundation of Canada
Acute kidney injury. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T566508/Acute-kidney-injury . Updated April 26, 2018. Accessed June 6, 2018.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated March 27, 2018. Accessed June 6, 2018.
Gaitonde DY, Cook DL, Rivera IM. Chronic kidney disease: detection and evaluation. Am Fam Physician. 2017;96(12):776-783.
Kidney failure. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidney-failure. Accessed June 6, 2018.
Snivel CS, Gutierrez C. Chronic kidney disease: prevention and treatment of common complications. Am Fam Physician. 2004;70(10):1921-1928.
Use of herbal supplements in chronic kidney disease. National Kidney Foundation website. Available at: https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/herbalsupp. Accessed June 6, 2018.
Your kidneys and how they work. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/kidneys-how-they-work. Updated March 2014. Accessed June 6, 2018.
1/4/2011 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed... : Deved V, Poyah P, James MT, et al. Ascorbic acid for anemia management in hemodialysis patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Kidney Dis. 2009;54(6):1089-1097.
10/10/2013 DynaMed Plus Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.dynamed... : Di lorio B, Molony D, Bell C, et al. Sevelamer versus calcium carbonate in incident hemodialysis patients: Results of an open-label 24-month randomized clinical trial. Am J Kidney Dis. 2013;62(4):771-778.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Adrienne Carmack, MD
Last Updated: 6/6/2018
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.