What is kidney failure?

Your kidneys are a pair of organs located toward your lower back. One kidney is on each side of your spine. They filter your blood and remove toxins from your body. Kidneys send toxins to your bladder, which your body later removes toxins during urination.

Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys lose the ability to sufficiently filter waste from your blood. Many factors can interfere with your kidney health and function, such as:

  1. toxic exposure to environmental pollutants or certain medications
  2. certain acute and chronic diseases
  3. severe dehydration
  4. kidney trauma

Your body becomes overloaded with toxins if your kidneys can’t do their regular job. This can lead to kidney failure, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Symptoms of kidney failure?

Usually someone with kidney failure will have a few symptoms of the disease. Sometimes no symptoms are present. Possible symptoms include:

  1. a reduced amount of urine
  2. swelling of your legs, ankles, and feet from retention of fluids caused by the failure of the kidneys to eliminate water waste
  3. unexplained shortness of breath
  4. excessive drowsiness or fatigue
  5. persistent nausea
  6. confusion
  7. pain or pressure in your chest
  8. seizures
  9. coma

Early signs of kidney failure

Symptoms of early stage kidney disease may be difficult to pinpoint. They’re often subtle and hard to identify. If you experience early signs of kidney disease, they may include:

  1. decreased urine output
  2. fluid retention that leads to swelling in limbs
  3. shortness of breath

Diabetes and kidney failure

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure. Uncontrolled high blood sugar can damage kidneys. The damage can become worse over time.

Diabetic nephropathy, or kidney damage caused by type 1 or type 2 diabetes, can’t be reversed. Managing blood sugar and blood pressure can help reduce damage. Taking medicines prescribed by your doctor is important, too.

If you have diabetes, your doctor will likely perform regular screenings to monitor for kidney failure.

Your risk for diabetic nephropathy increases the longer you live with the condition. Find out what other factors may increase your risk for this type of kidney disease.

5 types of kidney failure

There are five different types of kidney failure:

Acute prerenal kidney failure

Insufficient blood flow to the kidneys can cause acute prerenal kidney failure. The kidneys can’t filter toxins from the blood without enough blood flow. This type of kidney failure can usually be cured once your doctor determines the cause of the decreased blood flow.

Acute intrinsic kidney failure

Acute intrinsic kidney failure can result from direct trauma to the kidneys, such as physical impact or an accident. Causes also include toxin overload and ischemia, which is a lack of oxygen to the kidneys.
The following may cause ischemia:

  1. severe bleeding
  2. shock
  3. renal blood vessel obstruction
  4. glomerulonephritis

Chronic prerenal kidney failure

When there isn’t enough blood flowing to the kidneys for an extended period of time, the kidneys begin to shrink and lose the ability to function.

Chronic intrinsic kidney failure

This happens when there’s long-term damage to the kidneys due to intrinsic kidney disease. Intrinsic kidney disease develops from a direct trauma to the kidneys, such as severe bleeding or a lack of oxygen.

Chronic post-renal kidney failure

A long-term blockage of the urinary tract prevents urination. This causes pressure and eventual kidney damage.

Kidney failure stages

Kidney failure is classified into five stages. These range from very mild (stage 1) to complete kidney failure (stage 5). Symptoms and complications increase as the stages progress.

Stage 1

This stage is very mild. You may experience no symptoms and have no visible complications. Some damage is present.
It’s still possible to manage and slow progression by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a balanced diet, regularly exercising, and not using tobacco products. Maintaining a healthy weight is important, too.
If you have diabetes, it’s important to manage your blood sugar.

Stage 2

Stage 2 kidney disease is still considered a mild form, but detectable issues like protein in urine or physical damage to the kidneys may be more obvious.
The same lifestyle approaches that helped in stage 1 are still used in stage 2. Also talk with your doctor about other risk factors that could make the disease progress more rapidly. These include heart disease, inflammation, and blood disorders.

Stage 3

At this stage kidney disease is considered moderate. Your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should.
Stage 3 kidney disease is sometimes divided into 3A and 3B. A blood test that measures the amount of waste products in your body differentiates between the two.
Symptoms may become more apparent at this stage. Swelling in hands and feet, back pain, and changes to urination frequently are likely.
Lifestyle approaches may help. Your doctor may also consider medications to treat underlying conditions that could speed up failure.

Stage 4

Stage 4 kidney disease is considered moderate to severe. The kidneys aren’t working well, but you’re not in complete kidney failure yet. Symptoms can include complications like anemia, high blood pressure, and bone disease.
A healthy lifestyle is still vital. Your doctor will likely have you on treatments designed to slow damage.

Stage 5

In stage 5, your kidneys are nearing or are in complete failure. Symptoms of the loss of kidney function will be evident. These include vomiting and nausea, trouble breathing, itchy skin, and more.
At this stage you’ll need regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Kidney failure treatment

There are several treatments for kidney failure. The type of treatment you need will depend on the reason for your kidney failure.


Dialysis filters and purifies the blood using a machine. The machine performs the function of the kidneys. Depending on the type of dialysis, you may be connected to a large machine or a portable catheter bag.
You may need to follow a low-potassium, low-salt diet along with dialysis.
Dialysis doesn’t cure kidney failure, but it can extend your life if you go to regularly scheduled treatments.

Kidney transplant

Another treatment option is a kidney transplant. A transplanted kidney can work normally, and dialysis is no longer needed.
There’s usually a long wait to receive a donor kidney that’s compatible with your body. If you have a living donor(Family Member) the process may go more quickly.
You can also go for Cadvar donors(Accidental case) for this you Need to Register in Hopital under ZTCC (Gov. Organisation) who will help you to find your matching donar. It may take time upto 4 to 6 years, In case if your lucky you can get a donor within a year.
It will Cost you upto 10 to 12 Lakhs Approx. From Operation to Medicines Cost for 1st Year.