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Acute kidney injury (AKI) (or AKA Acute Renal Failure (ARF)) is when kidneys start to rapidly fail.  This happens when kidneys are no longer able to filter blood at the level they were prior to AKI. Thus, toxins and wastes acculmulate greatly, causing your body's blood balance to be off kilter.

There are multiple causes of AKI. One being a lack of blood flow to the kidneys, which makes it harder for the kidneys to filter. Other causes range from blockage in the urine tract, medications, and other autoimmune conditions. It is most commmonly found in pacients who are already being treated for other diseases.

AKI develops very quickly. It can escalate to fatal in a matter of hours or days. Which is contrary to Chronic Kidney Disease; which is progressive and slow. Both develop differently, but will ultimately lead to kidney failure if left untreated. If treated, most pacients with AKI are able to make a full recovery and their kidneys will work as they did prior to the problem. 

Acute kidney injury is most commonly found in pacients who are already being treated for other diseases, and affects over 13 million people resulting in 1.7 million deaths each year. 

AKI can lead to:

  • Chronic Kidney Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney Failure

Signs and Symptoms

Not all acute kidney injury patients experience noticable symptoms, especially for more mild cases. In these cases, the only way to know that you have AKI is through routine health screenings (most of the time AKI is an incidental finding during routine checkups).

When the severity of the acute kidney injury is higher, these symptoms can be found:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Too little urine leaving the body
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased ability to concentrate on mental tasks
  • Arrythimas

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