What are the causes of chronic kidney disease and acute kidney failure?

The kidneys are two organs located in the abdominal cavity on either side of the spine, in the middle of the back, just above the waist. They perform several life-sustaining functions: They clean your blood by removing excess waste, flush out fluids, maintain the salt and mineral balance in your blood, and help regulate blood pressure. pressure.

When the kidneys fail, fluid and waste products can build up in the body, causing swelling in the ankles, vomiting, weakness, poor sleep, and trouble breathing. If left untreated, it can lead to complete kidney failure. Loss of kidney function is a serious and potentially fatal condition.

Healthy kidneys handle a number of specific roles. Healthy kidneys will:

  • Maintain water balance and concentration of minerals such as sodium, potassium and phosphorus in your blood
  • Remove waste products from blood, muscle activity, chemical or drug exposure
  • Produce renin, an enzyme that helps regulate blood pressure
  • Production of erythropoietin, which stimulates the production of red blood cells
  • Produces the active form of vitamin D, essential for bone health.

What causes acute kidney failure?

The sudden loss of kidney function is called acute kidney injury, also known as acute renal failure (ARF). Acute kidney failure has three main causes:

  • Lack of blood flow to the kidneys
  • Direct damage to the kidney
  • Obstruction of urine flow.

Common causes of acute kidney failure include:

  • Trauma causes blood loss
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney damage from shock in a serious infection called sepsis
  • Obstruction of urine flow, such as an enlarged prostate
  • Injury from drugs or poisons
  • Complications during pregnancy, such as eclampsia and preeclampsia, or associated with HELLP syndrome (a form of severe preeclampsia).

In addition, marathon runners and other athletes who do not drink enough water during long-distance endurance competitions can develop acute kidney failure due to an unexpected breakdown of muscle tissue. The breakdown of muscle releases large amounts of a protein into the bloodstream called myoglobin that can damage the kidneys.

What causes chronic kidney disease?

Kidney damage and irreversible loss of function lasting more than 3 months is called chronic kidney disease (CKD). Chronic kidney disease is especially dangerous, because you may not have any symptoms until the disease is advanced, which is often irreversible. Diabetes (types 1 and 2) and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney failure. Other causes are:

  • Immune system conditions such as lupus and chronic viral diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, hepatitis C
  • An upper urinary tract infection, called pyelonephritis, can lead to scarring as it heals. Many times lead to kidney damage
  • Inflammation in the small filters (glomeruli) in the kidneys; this can happen after a strep infection and other unknown causes
  • Polycystic kidney disease, in which fluid-filled cysts form in the kidney over time. This is the most common form of hereditary kidney disease
  • Birth defects, often the result of a urinary tract obstruction or malformation that affects the kidneys. This is one of the most common conditions involving the valve-like mechanism between the bladder and the urethra. Defects, sometimes found in babies still in the womb, are usually operated on by a urologist
  • Drugs and toxins, including long-term exposure to certain drugs and chemicals, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), ibuprofen and naproxen, or “street” intravenous drugs.

End-stage kidney disease occurs when about 90% of kidney function has been lost. People with kidney failure may experience nausea, vomiting, weakness, fatigue, confusion, difficulty concentrating, and loss of appetite. The disease can be diagnosed with blood and urine tests.


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The sudden loss of kidney function is called acute kidney injury, also known as acute renal failure (ARF). Acute kidney failure has three main causes: Lack of blood flow to the kidneys; direct damage to the kidneys; urinary flow obstruction.

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