1. What is kidney failure?
Kidneys fail when they cannot do their job which is filtration of blood and removal of waste products of body. In this case usually blood Creatinine goes up and GFR decreases. Kidney failure is either acute which means it happens all the sudden or chronic which is usually known in the patient.
2. What are common causes of acute kidney failure?
If kidney failure happens acutely, it is usually in a sick patient admitted to hospital. Severe infection and low blood pressure with dehydration can damage the kidneys and lower their perfusion. This can be reversible if patient has been normal and had good kidneys before admission to hospital. On the other hands kidneys with chronic disease and low baseline function may not recover completely.
3. What are common causes of chronic kidney failure?
The most common causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. If they are left uncontrolled, they can gradually damage the small filters of kidneys. These patients usually do not have symptoms at the beginning which is a very important period, since controlling blood sugar and blood pressure can prevent progression of kidney disease at this important period. If they left untreated and kidney disease gets advanced, it is very hard or improbable to save the kidneys and patient may end up needing dialysis to survive.
4. Can medications cause kidney disease?
Medications are important causes of kidney failure. Always consult your doctor before starting a new medication. People with chronic kidneys disease are especially very susceptible to medications side effects. They often require lower doses of certain medications, since their damaged kidneys cannot filtrate and excrete those medications from the body and they can have severe side effects even with usual doses of medications.
5. Which medications can be detrimental to kidneys?
There is a big list of medications which can not be used at all or can be used with precaution and dosage changes in patients with chronic kidney disease. Always consult your physicians when you have to start a new medication. Over the counter pain pills like Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Diclofenac and Meloxicam which are totally called NSAIDs can damage the kidney through different mechanism. Certain antibiotics like Gentamicin can be dangerous for kidneys. Imaging procedures which need intravenous injections of contrast are also dangerous especially in patients with chronic kidney diseases.
6. Can kidneys and prostate diseases be related?
In elderly men who usually have enlarged prostates, urine formed by the kidneys and stored in the bladder, cannot be evacuated out. Large prostate causes obstruction and build up of pressure in urinary tubules. This obstruction and high pressure can damage the kidneys in long run. Men who cannot urinate easily, have urinary frequency and go to bath room several times at night, usually have prostate disease and it needs to be fixed to prevent further damage to kidneys.
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