Renal Failure - Overview



Kidney failure is a condition in which the kidneys struggle to perform their basic function of removing waste products and excess water from the body. The waste products and water build up in the body and this starts affecting other organs, which can be harmful to your health.

The most common causes of kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. In the early stages of failure, there are usually are no symptoms. The disease can then progress, if not managed well, to complete kidney failure (also called end-stage kidney disease). This happens when the kidney function has worsened to the point where it needs help to play its role. That help comes in the form of dialysis. Later down the line a kidney transplant might be required. 

The important role of treatment is to prevent the progression to complete kidney failure. The best way to do this is to diagnose kidney disease as early as possible and to control the underlying cause.


Risk Factors

Below is a list of factors that can increase the chances of having kidney disease:


  • Diabetes mellitus, this is the most common cause of kidney failure
  • High blood pressure, chronic uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to kidney issues
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Older age
  • Having autoimmune diseases such as lupus



As mentioned before, when in its early stages, kidney failure has no symptoms. During later stages, some people experience non-specific symptoms such as myalgia (pain in the joints), flu-like symptoms, stomach pain, tiredness, nausea or vomiting. As the disease progresses, more specific symptoms appear such as swelling of the lower limbs or body or swelling around the eyes, especially early mornings.

If you are experiencing any of the above-mentioned symptoms, contact your doctor for further evaluation.

Kidney failure is also called chronic kidney disease. Chronic means that it cannot be cured but it can be managed through the correct use of medication and adjusting some of your lifestyle habits.




Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

References: Levey AS, Coresh J. Chronic kidney disease. Lancet. 2012 Jan 14;379(9811):165-80. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60178-5.

Content Disclaimer:
You understand and acknowledge that all users of the Dis-Chem website or app are responsible for their own medical care, treatment, and oversight. All of the content provided on the website, are for INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content is not intended to establish a standard of care to be followed by a user of the website. You understand and acknowledge that you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health. You also understand and acknowledge that you should never disregard or delay seeking medical advice relating to treatment or standard of care because of information contained in or transmitted through the website. Medical information changes constantly. Therefore the information on this website or on the linked websites should not be considered current, complete or exhaustive, nor should you rely on such information to recommend a course of treatment for you or any other individual. Reliance on any information provided on this website or any linked websites is solely at your own risk.
Back to top