Acute Kidney Failure

When the kidney suddenly finds it difficult to carry out its task of filtering waste products from the blood, acute kidney failure has set in. This may develop over a few hours or days and may result in
the accumulation of wastes which may be toxic to the body. Acute kidney failure can develop when any condition that slows blood flow to the kidneys arises or due to blockage of the tubes that drain urine (ureters).
Acute kidney failure (acute kidney injury) may show no signs or symptoms but may be detected after some tests carried out in the laboratory. However, symptoms such as chest pain, fluid retention, decreased urine output, nausea, and shortness of breath or fatigue may be observed in some other cases.
In many cases, acute kidney failure occurs in connection with other medical conditions. Such conditions which may be risk factors include:
  • ·         High blood pressure
  • ·         Heart failure
  • ·         Liver disease
  • ·         Blocked blood vessels
  • ·         Hospitalization due to serious health conditions
  • ·         Increase in age

To maintain healthy kidneys, a healthy diet is required as well as healthy habits. Whatever is good for the general well-being of the body is also good for the kidneys. This includes engaging in physical activity, drinking sufficient water, eating balanced meals etcetera. Foods that help to maintain a healthy balance of potassium are good for the kidneys. Plant-based proteins are equally good. They are rich in anti-inflammatory properties that are less likely to cause inflammation or acidity within the kidney.
Complications that could arise from acute kidney injury include chest pain, permanent kidney damage and death. Treatment requires identifying and treating the underlying cause of the disease. It includes preventing onset of complications and giving time for the kidneys to heal. Treatment includes:
  • ·         Use of medications to control potassium and restore blood calcium levels.
  • ·        Use of dialysis to remove toxins from blood.
  • ·         Use of various treatments to balance fluids in the blood.

           By Ifeyinwa Ugo-Amadi


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