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What Happens To A Patient With Kidney Failure

2013-02-19 15:46

Kidney failure means that part or all kidney functions are damaged and the kidneys can not work properly to maintain normal daily life activities.

Healthy kidneys have the following functions of producing urine and at the same time clearing metabolic wastes (such as creatinine, blood urea nitrogen and uric acid), removing excessive water, sodium and other electrolytes and secreting hormones like renin, erythropoietin, active vitamin D, etc.

In case of renal failure, all the above mentioned functions are affected and patients will develop a series of symptoms and complications.

Elevated creatinine and BUN

It is very common that kidney failure patients will have higher than normal creatinine and BUN and this indicates that there are many other wasteful substances in the patients’ blood stream. Damaged kidneys can not remove wastes efficiently from the body. And renal failure patients often have much reduced urine output with the gradual loss of kidney function.


Kidneys can secrete renin, prostaglandins and plasmakinin and they play certain role on regulating blood pressure. When kidneys are damaged, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and plasmakinin-bradykinin-prostaglandin system will be disturbed and blood pressure will be elevated. High blood pressure, if left untreated will in turn speed up glomerular sclerosis and worsen renal functions.


Healthy kidneys can secrete erythropoietin and stimulate bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Renal failure patients can not produce enough red cells and anemia will develop. Patients will appear to be pale, fatigue, lack of energy, feeling cold, etc.

Electrolyte imbalances

Besides metabolic disorders of protein, sugar and fat, kidney failure will also cause electrolyte imbalances, therefore it is very important to limit the intake of potassium, phosphorus, sodium especially when their levels in the blood is higher than the normal values.

Bone problems

Metabolic disorder of calcium and phosphorus will damage the patients’ bone and make them susceptible to get bone fracture and other bone problems.

Cardiovascular complications

Kidney failure will in the end affect the patients’ whole body. Cardiovascular disease is the main complication and cause of death for end stage renal failure patients. Therefore proper and timely treatment should be sought in case of signs of cardiovascular damages.

Of cause, patients may not have all the above mentioned symptoms and some patients may have some other symptoms that this article does not include. You can leave us a message or email to, we will give you more detailed explanation.

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