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According to the World Health Organization, In 2015, 1.2 million people died from kidney failure, an increase of 32% since 2005;  Additionally, each year, around 1.7 million people are thought to die from acute kidney injury. Overall, therefore, an estimated 5–10 million people die annually from kidney disease.

Kidney failure is becoming rampant among Nigerians, from the young to the old. According to the Nigerian Association of Neprologist, about 25 million Nigerians have kidney failure, meaning around 1 in every 8 Nigerians has kidney failure. Knowledge is key, when you know the symptoms of kidney disease as well as the causes, you can quickly seek medical intervention. Before an ongoing kidney disease gets to the stage of kidney failure, there are ominous symptoms.

What is Kidney Failure?

Your kidneys filter waste and extra fluid out of your blood so they can be removed from your body in your urine. When your kidneys stop working and can no longer do their job, it’s called kidney failure. Your kidneys can lose up to 90 percent of their function and still do their job pretty well. Losing more than that is considered kidney failure.

There are two types of Kidney Failure:

Acute kidney failure is a sudden loss of kidney function. It’s usually reversible.

Chronic kidney failure is a gradual loss of kidney function. It gets worse over time and isn’t reversible (but you can slow its progression

What are the causes of Kidney failure?

The following are the causes of Acute Kidney Failure:

  • acute pyelonephritis (kidney infection)
  • dehydration
  • significant blood loss
  • very low blood pressure
  • contrast dye used for some imaging tests, like CT or MRI scan
  • Glomerulonephritis(damage to the filtering parts of your kidney) that occurs rapidly
  •  Interstitial Nephritis (damage to the tubules in your kidney) that occurs rapidly
  • Urinary Tract Obstruction, such as from a Kidney Stone or enlarged prostate.
  • over-the-counter pain medications, such as NSAIDs
  • Prescribed medications, including some blood pressure medications at high doses, antibiotics, or cancer medications
  • other drugs, such as heroine, cocaine and amphetamines
  • Herbal Concoctions

Chronic kidney failure occurs when something slowly and progressively damages your kidneys. Causes include:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • glomerulonephritis that’s slow and progressive
  • interstitial nephritis that’s slow and progressive
  • genetic conditions, such as polycystic kidney disease.
  • autoimmune diseases, such as lupus nephritis and Goodpasture Syndrome
  • chronic or recurrent kidney infection.

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Failure?

Usually there are no symptoms in early stages of kidney failure. When they do occur, symptoms may include:

  1. Confusion
  2. Fatigue
  3. Decreased Urine Output
  4. Difficulty Concentrating
  5. Itching
  6. Muscle twitching and cramping
  7. Metallic taste in your mouth
  8. Nausea and Vomiting
  9. Loss of Appetite
  10. Seizures
  11. Swelling in your body(edema)
  12. Shortness of breath
  13. Weakness

Is there a treatment for kidney failure?

There are treatments for both types of kidney failure.

Acute kidney failure can be reversed. Chronic kidney failure progression can be slowed with the right treatment.


In acute kidney failure, the problem is temporary. Your kidneys will start working again once the problem has been treated. Some examples of treatment are:


1.antibiotics for pyelonephritis

2. transfusion for blood loss

3. corticosteroids for immune conditions

4. intravenous fluids for dehydration

5. removal of an obstruction


Progressive damage to your kidneys causes chronic kidney failure. Since it can’t be reversed, something else has to take over the work of your kidneys. The options are:


1. Hemodialysis. A dialysis machine can filter your blood. This can be performed at a dialysis center.

2. Peritoneal dialysis. The filtering occurs in your abdomen.

3. Kidney transplant. A donated kidney is surgically placed in your body.

Can Kidney Failure be prevented?

Yes it can be prevented.

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the commonest causes of Kidney, most of the underlisted prevention tips center around these two conditions.


1. Manage your blood sugar

Diabetes increases your risk for heart disease and kidney failure. That’s just one reason to manage your blood sugar.


2. Manage your blood pressure

High blood pressure can increase your risk for heart disease as well as kidney failure.


3. Maintain a healthy weight

Obesity can increase your risk for conditions associated with kidney failure, such as diabetes and high blood pressure.


4. Eat a heart-healthy diet

A heart-healthy diet — one low in sugar and cholesterol and high in fiber, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables — helps prevent weight gain.


5. Reduce salt intake

Eating too much salt is associated with high blood pressure.
6. Drink enough water

Dehydration reduces blood flow to your kidneys, which can damage them. Ask your doctor how much water you should drink per day.


7. Limit alcohol

Alcohol increases your blood pressure. The extra calories in it can make you gain weight, too.


8. Don’t smoke

MSmoking reduces blood flow to your kidneys. It damages kidney function in people with or without kidney disease.


9. Limit over-the-counter pain medication and herbal concoctions

In high doses, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, reduce the amount of blood flow to your kidneys, which can harm them.


10. Reduce stress

Reducing stress and anxiety can lower your blood pressure, which is good for your kidneys.


11. Exercise regularly

Exercise, such as swimming, walking, and running, can help reduce stress, manage diabetes and high blood pressure, and maintain a healthy weight.


If you think you might have kidney disease, it’s important to see your doctor for evaluation. Getting an early diagnosis and treatment can help slow the progression to kidney failure.

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