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Renal Failure

Acute renal failure happens when the kidneys suddenly lose their ability to remove toxins from the urine. Typically the cause for a sudden kidney failure are acute tubular necrosis (ATN) and autoimmune kidney diseases. Other causes leading to kidney damage are acute pyelonephritis and septicemia. The symptoms indicating acute renal failure are changes in urination, lowered sensation in extremities and metallic taste in the mouth. Typical symptoms include nausea, blood in stools, swelling of feet and ankles, swelling of ankle or leg, fluid retention and fatigue. A person might also notice high blood pressure, nausea and reduced appetite. Change in mental alertness might be noticed.


A nephrologist will need to examine the patient and suggest further course of action. BUN test and blood tests for creatinine and potassium are done. Kidney ultrasound or MRI might be done to look for any stones, tumors or blockage. A person suffering acute kidney failure is hospitalized and the amount of liquid ingested in monitored. The diet has to be tailored to reduce proteins and salt. Diuretics might be prescribed for reducing fluid retention. In some cases, dialysis is done; especially when the potassium levels are abnormally high. The balance of body electrolytes is maintained.


Acute kidney failure is more common with older adults and those suffering kidney or liver disease, heart failure or diabetes. An abdominal surgery might also make you more susceptible to kidney failure. Severe dehydration, blood pressure medications and overuse of NSAIDs are other possible causes for renal failure. This condition can be life threatening if not treated in time. It can lead to chronic kidney failure or damage to the nervous system and the heart. The patient can develop very high blood pressure or loss of blood in the intestines leading to last-stage kidney disease. Treatment for kidney disease include antibiotics and iodine-based medications.

BMP blood test

BMP blood test or Basic Metabolic Panel blood test comprises a set of tests that throw light on the functioning of a person's kidneys, blood sugar, calcium, electrolyte and acid/base levels. BMP blood test comprises testing for:


Glucose: Metabolic disorders of carbohydrates, incidences of Pancreatitis, renal impairment in association with diabetes mellitus of adult and juvenile origins.

Calcium: Hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, tetanus, bone disorders, chronic renal failure.

Sodium: Central nervous system disorders, dehydration, gastrointestinal fluid loss, skin complications, hyperaldosteronism, polydipsia, burns.

Potassium: Hyperparathyroidism, conditions associated with glomerulus and renal tubules, diabetic ketoacidosis and metabolic alkalosis.

CO2 (carbon dioxide, bicarbonate): Renal metabolic disorders, primary respiratory and metabolic alkalosis.

Chloride: Diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, burns, renal diseases.


BMP blood test aids in diagnosis of kidney failure, diabetic coma, hypertension, changes in heart rhythms and respiratory illness. Basic metabolic panel elucidates the blood biochemistry values in association with the underlying medical conditions. The patient is advised to fast 12 hours before the test. In some conditions a random analysis is also followed. Other tests that are used by physicians to check for renal failure are BUN blood test and test for creatinine. If there is elevated blood calcium level, it can be confirmed with an ionized calcium test. Electrolyte imbalance can occur due to many an illness.


Nephrologist

Nephrologists are specialists who specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases related to the kidney. They are trained to mange kidney disorders too. Pediatric nephrologists treat the same conditions in infants, children, and young adults. Nephrologists should complete medical school and then complete three years in internal medicine and further specialize for two years in the field of nephrology. Pediatric nephrologists have to further take special certification to qualify as pediatric Nephrologist. Nephrologists also termed as renal physicians treat diseases related to the kidney, any malfunctioning in the kidney can affect other organs of the body.


  • Conditions that can lead to kidney disorders such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
  • Check the functioning of the kidney.
  • They treat Polycystic kidney diseases.
  • Prescribe medications for kidney disorders.
  • Support kidney transplantation.
  • Treat patients who have kidney failure also called as renal failure / uremia.
  • Treat patients with kidney stones.
  • Removes sample from the tissues of the kidney for biopsy purposes.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 19, 2017