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Kidney Failure Specialist

Metro Renal Associates

Nephrologists located in Washington, DC & Capitol Heights, MD

Kidney failure, or acute kidney failure, can develop quickly, causing waste to accumulate in your blood and leading to symptoms such as decreased urination and fatigue. The team of skilled nephrologists at Metro Renal Associates in Washington, DC, effectively diagnose and treat kidney failure. If left untreated, this condition can prove fatal, so make sure to get the help you need. To learn more, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.

Kidney Failure Q & A

What is kidney failure?

Kidney failure, which is also known as acute kidney failure, occurs when your kidneys become unable to properly filter waste from your blood. This can cause waste products to build up and lead to the altering of your blood’s delicate chemical makeup.

One of the signatures of kidney failure is that it develops rapidly, often in the span of a few days. It’s most common in cases of hospitalization, particularly if you’re critically ill and suffering from a serious underlying condition that affects your kidney health.

Kidney failure can be fatal, but in cases where the rest of your overall health is good, its effects can be effectively treated. It can also be the end stage of a long progression of kidney problems or the result of chronic kidney disease.

What are the symptoms of kidney failure?

A condition known as metabolic acidosis is also associated with kidney failure. When your kidneys fail, they stop properly managing the balance of acid in your body’s fluids. This complication, along with several others that result from kidney failure, causes a variety of troublesome symptoms, including:

  • A decrease in urine volume
  • Elevated creatinine levels in your blood
  • Swelling in your legs, ankles, or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Seizures or coma

In some cases, kidney failure causes no noticeable signs or symptoms. It may be detected through lab tests done routinely for another specific reason.

What causes kidney failure?

Besides the later stages of chronic kidney disease, there are generally two main causes of acute kidney failure — impaired blood flow or direct damage to your kidneys.

Here are some risk factors that can lead to either blood flow issues or direct kidney damage:

  • Blood or fluid loss
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Severe burns
  • Severe dehydration
  • Blood clots in the veins and arteries near your kidneys
  • Glomerulonephritis (inflammation of tiny filters in your kidneys
  • Lupus
  • Toxins (such as alcohol or cocaine)

Underlying health conditions, particularly diabetes and high blood pressure, are also associated with the rapid development of kidney failure.

How is kidney failure treated?

If the team at Metro Renal Associates believes your symptoms indicate kidney failure, they may opt for additional testing to be certain, including blood tests, urine tests, and imaging tests.

Obtaining a comprehensive diagnosis is very important for treating kidney failure as treatment usually involves addressing an underlying cause. For instance, if high blood pressure or diabetes is the root cause, treating those conditions will allow your kidneys time to heal and recover.

While treating complications that affect your kidney health and function, you may need additional medication management or further treatments like dialysis to filter waste from your blood.

If you suspect your symptoms may indicate kidney failure, call Metro Renal Associates or schedule an appointment online today.