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Kidney Failure


What is acute kidney failure?

Kidney failure (also called acute renal failure) is the medical condition in which the kidneys suddenly stop functioning. The kidneys remove waste products and help balance water, salt and other minerals (electrolytes) in the blood. When the kidneys stop functioning, waste products, fluids, and electrolytes build up in the body. This can cause deadly problems.

What causes acute kidney failure?

There are 3 main causes for Acute kidney failure:-

   * A sudden, serious reduction in blood flow to the kidneys. Heavy blood loss, an injury, or sepsis - a bad infection - can reduce blood flow to the kidneys. Inadequate fluid in the body (dehydration) can also harm the kidneys.

   * Damage from some medicines, poisons, or infections. Most people do not develop any kidney problems from taking medicines. However, people who have serious, long-term health problems are more prone than other people to have a kidney problem from medicines. Examples of medicines that can sometimes harm the kidneys include:-
       * Antibiotics like streptomycin and gentamicin.
       * Pain-killing medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen.
       * Some blood pressure medicines like ACE inhibitors.
       * The dyes used in some X-ray testing.
    * A sudden blockage that stops urine from flowing out of the kidneys. Kidney stones, a tumour, an injury or an enlarged prostate gland can cause a blockage.

There is a greater chance of getting acute kidney failure in case of:-

    * An older adult.
    * Long-term health problems such as kidney or liver disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart failure, or obesity.
    * Being very ill already in the hospital or intensive care unit (ICU). Heart or abdominal (belly) surgery or a bone marrow transplant can make patients more prone to kidney problems.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of acute kidney failure may include:-

   *  Little or no urine when trying to urinate.
    * Swelling, especially in the legs and feet.
    * Lack of appetite.
    * Nausea and / or vomiting.
    * Feeling confused, anxious and restless or sleepy.
    * Pain in the back just below the rib cage - called flank pain.

Some people may not have any symptoms and for people who are quite ill already, the problem that is causing the kidney injury may cause other symptoms.

How is acute kidney failure diagnosed?

Acute kidney failure is most often diagnosed during a hospital stay for another cause. If
the patient is in the hospital already, tests done for other problems may detect the kidney problem.

If you are not in a hospital but have symptoms of kidney failure and consult a physician, the doctor will ask
about your symptoms, what medicines you take and what tests you have undergone. The symptoms
can help point to the cause of your kidney problem.

Urine and blood tests can check how well the kidneys are functioning. A chemistry screen can show if the levels of sodium (salt), potassium, and calcium are normal. You may have to undergo an ultrasound scan also - this imaging test lets the doctor see a picture of your kidneys.

Role of Homoeopathy

Homoeopathy does not recognise the kidneys as mere organs of excretion or selective filtration but always recognises them in relation to the individual as a whole. The kidneys have a generalised function—the fluids coming to it and going out of it influence every organ, tissue and cell of the body. Kidney functions influence the complete vital economy of the body. Homoeopathic medicines do wonders in preventing the progression of the disease, haemodialysis and also in reducing the number of dialysis for such patients and avoiding renal transplantation.

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