Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located at the back of the upper abdomen, one on either side of the spine.
Obstruction results in kidney swelling and inflammation.
Chronic kidney failure that develops gradually is usually attributed to high blood pressure and diabetes.
If your family has a history of any kind of kidney problems, you may be at risk for kidney disease and should talk to your doctor.
Symptoms Passing pus and some blood in urine (hematuria). Also passing urine at night more often than usual. They may also develop coarse muscular twitches, muscle cramps and convulsions, lassitude and decreased mental activity.
Other are loss of appetite, vomiting, small wounds on the edges of the mouth and bitter mouth taste. Some patients develop yellow-brown skin discolouration with itchy skin rashes.
With time there is swelling of the face, legs and other parts of the body, congested chest and difficulty in breathing.
Kidney failure may cause other ailments like stomach and intestinal ulcers, malnutrition, malaria or typhoid, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and fluid retention in lungs (pulmonary edema).
Death is usually due to underlying disease and not solely due to absence of a properly functioning kidney.
Get regular check ups especially when you are above 40 or have a history of urinary tract diseases and infections. Always have prompt proper treatment for any sign of urinary tract disease condition.
Avoid abuse and use of alcohol, drugs (including over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen). Avoid long-term exposure to heavy metals, such as lead, solvents, fuels and other toxic substances.
With the use of antibiotics and careful control of salt and water intake and effective dialysis, the mortality rate can be reduced from 90% to 50 %.
Acute kidney failure can be prevented by proper maintenance of normal fluid balance, blood volume and blood pressure.
Despite treatment the outcome will depend on the underlying diseases and superimposed complications. For example, complications may cause irreversible damage with therapy. Dialysis and organ transplant are the final solutions. The writer is a medical doctor
What is kidney failure?