Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys have stopped working and their function cannot be completed which causes an accumulation of fluids and waste inside of your body. The loss of kidney function can happen suddenly in a matter of hours or days (acute renal failure or ARF) or over time. Sometimes occurring over multiple years of chronic kidney disease leading to renal failure or end stage renal disease (ESRD).
Kidney failure is caused by multiple factors that all can lead to an acute or chronic renal disease. The most common causes are diabetes, hypertension and some autoimmune diseases, such as lupus (SLE).
There are a lot of symtoms that a patient with renal failure may have such as swelling, shortness of breath, a decrease in urination frequency, confusion, etc.
In order to know if you have renal failure, your doctor may perform a few tests:
Getting a dianosis of kidney failure can feel very overwhelming. The first and most important thing you can do is schedule an appointment with a nephrologist. Nephrologists are doctors that specialize in kidney problems. Your nephrologists may run some additional tests; which can assist in knowing the cause of the renal failure. After testing and examination your nephrologist can recommend and advise on treatment options:
On average, the life expectancy of patients on dialysis is approximately 5-10 years. However, there are other things that can help extend the duration of life. For people recieving a kidney transplant the life expectancy can reach 15-25 years, also depending on many other factors such as age and other medical conditions.