Renal Failure Complications

Health Window logo

People with renal failure usually develop complications in its end stages, when the function of the kidney is extremely low.

Even when kidney failure is advanced, most people still discard a normal or near-normal amount of urine; this is sometimes confusing because one would think if the kidney is not functioning, no fluids would be discarded from the body. What happens is that urine is formed, but it does not contain enough of the body's waste products.

With advanced kidney disease there is swelling of the feet, ankles or legs caused by a collection of fluid in the spaces that surround the body's tissue, loss of appetite, increased sleepiness, nausea, vomiting, confusion and difficulty thinking. Patients often develop high blood pressure, blood chemistry (electrolyte) abnormalities such as a high potassium concentration, anaemia (a decrease in red blood cells, which can cause fatigue and other symptoms) and bone disease.

Chronic kidney disease can affect almost every part of your body.

POTENTIAL COMPLICATIONS

  • Fluid retention, which could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • A sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia), which could impair your heart's ability to function and may be life-threatening
  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • Weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures
  • Anaemia
  • Decreased sex drive and erectile dysfunction 
  • Damage to your central nervous system, which can cause difficulty concentrating, personality changes or seizures
  • Decreased immune response, which makes you more vulnerable to infection
  • Pericarditis, an inflammation of the saclike membrane that envelops your heart (pericardium)
  • Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus
  • Irreversible damage to your kidneys (end-stage kidney disease), eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival.

 

Written by Dr Ruusa Shivute | Health Window

References: Abboud H, Henrich WL. Clinical practice. Stage IV chronic kidney disease. N Engl J Med 2010; 362:56.


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