The kidney happens to be a vital organ in the human body. It is responsible for various functions. In order for our body to function properly kidneys need to be healthy. Not only is the kidney responsible for the fluids coming into our bodies it is also responsible for the disposing of waste fluids out of the body. The human body generally works with two kidneys however; it does have the ability to work off of one. When the kidney does not work correctly, kidney failure can occur.
Kidney failure is classified into 4 groups; prerenal, renal, post renal, and chronic renal.
Prerenal failure is when the volume of blood is reduced to the kidney or otherwise known as Hypovolemia. This can be caused by an excess loss of blood, certain medications, or dehydration. Anything that can cause fluid loss can be characterized as prerenal failure.
Renal failure is when a there is a direct relation to the kidney itself being damaged. Such failure is related to complications of infection (sepsis), muscle injury (rhabdomyolysis), blood disorders (multiple myeloma), and an inflammation to the filters of the kidney (acute glomerulonephritis).
Post renal failure is when the urine outflow is blocked or obstructed. Such factors that could cause obstruction or block the urine from flowing correctly could be caused from tumors, kidney stones, prostate cancer, an enlarged prostate or something that impedes or prevents the passage of urine.
High blood pressure, diabetes, and chronic glomerulonephritis (the inability to process waste and blood due to damage) are characteristics of chronic renal failure.
Kidney failure can be shown through various symptoms. Symptoms that can be directly related to the failure of the kidney is potassium levels in the blood would be elevated, the levels of urea would be rising in the blood which is the nitrogen in the blood that comes from wastes, a decrease of blood cell count, fatigue, loss of appetite and breathing would become fast. Some symptoms may be unnoticeable at first and the patient may not even become aware of kidney failure at the onset.
The stage of kidney failure will determine what type of care and treatment needs to take place. Blood work can show the severity and diagnosis of the failure of the kidney. Testing of the blood can show how much waste is present and can show how poorly the kidney is functioning. Urine samples can also show the amount of proteins that are currently in the urine. When protein presents in the urine, kidney failure to some degree is certain.
Another test that can be done is an ultrasound. Ultrasounds and a biopsy of the abdomen might be recommended by the physician. If it is determined that the kidney can be saved, medications or surgery might be suggested to impede further failure or loss of kidney. If the failure is so severe and the kidneys are not functioning properly a kidney transplant is a viable alternative.