What is Renal Insufficiency?
Renal insufficiency, renal failure or kidney failure is a medical condition in which function of the kidneys is impaired because they fail to adequately filter waste products from the blood. Renal failure is often determined by the decrease in filtration rate of the glomerulus, the rate at which glomeruli of kidneys filter blood.
And the condition is detected by absence or decrease of urine production or by determining the waste products such as urea or creatinine in the blood.
In renal insufficiency, increased body fluids may be produced which lead to swelling. There may be problems with raised levels of acids, potassium, and phosphate and decreased levels of calcium and anemia in later stages. If kidney problems are long-term they may cause cardiovascular diseases.
Types of Renal Insufficiency
There are two main forms of renal insufficiency: acute kidney injury and chronic kidney disease.
Acute Kidney Injury
In acute kidney injury, kidneys suddenly become unable to filter blood properly and stop working. When kidneys stop filtering blood, high levels of waste products accumulate in the body and ruin the chemical balance of the body. Acute kidney injury also called as acute kidney failure develops rapidly within hours or few days.
Acute kidney injury is more common in people who are critically ill, already hospitalized or have some other health conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity. Acute kidney failure can be fatal, however; with intensive treatment, the symptoms may be reversed.
Chronic Kidney Disease
It seems like chronic kidney disease has come on suddenly, but it is not like that. It has been developing bit by bit because of the damage to kidneys. Each of our kidneys has millions of nephrons, which filter the blood from wastes. If nephrons are damaged, they cannot do their work properly. For sometimes healthy nephrons share some extra burden. But if more and more nephrons keep getting damaged, healthy ones cannot keep up the good work. So, blood cannot be filtered well enough which can lead to chronic kidney disease.
Other causes of chronic kidney disease, also called as chronic renal insufficiency or chronic renal failure may be: high blood pressure and/or high blood sugar for many years. A narrowed or blocked renal artery and certain medications may also cause chronic renal failure.
There are certain things one can do make the damage slow down, like taking certain medications and changing their lifestyle habits.