Kidney Failure An Overview

We all stress on drinking pure water. There are several brands of water purifiers that claim to do the job. Now, we have something that does the same inside our bodies – purifying blood, removing waste material and adjusting the salt and minerals in the blood. After the purification is done, the waste moves on to our bladder, which we very promptly pass out in the form of urine.

Kidney Overview

Now, if the blood doesn’t get filtered, it’s a given that we’ll fall sick, sometimes leading to even serious health conditions.

But, why wouldn’t our blood be purified? That happens when our kidneys either malfunction, or fail.

What is Kidney Failure?

​Kidney failure is a condition wherein a kidney fails to perform its functions as per the needs of the body. In a kidney failure, the kidneys cannot purify the blood upto the required quality, and hence, the poison and the acids in the blood start accumulating.

What happens when a kidney fails?

Kidney failure may lead to serious damage to various other  organs as the impure and acid-laden blood is carried to all the vital organs of the body. This is why doctors say that kidney failure is a disease which eventually culminates in multiple organ impairment.

Types of Kidney Failure

Kidney failure is of two types:

  • Temporary kidney failure
  • Permanent kidney failure

Temporary kidney failure is termed as Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Permanent kidney failure is known as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

What causes Kidney Failure?

The common reasons for Temporary Kidney Failure (AKI) are Infections, Drugs and sudden fall in Blood Pressure.

Kidney Failure Causes

In contrast, Permanent kidney failure is caused due to different set of conditions. The three common reasons for Permanent kidney failure ar:

  • Long standing Diabetes Mellitus
  • Chronic Hypertension
  • Inconsiderate usage of painkillers for a prolonged period.

How can Kidney Failure be treated?

Temporary kidney failure is initially managed with medicines and if the situation warrants, the patient will be subjected to dialysis. Dialysis is temporary. In this case, as the kidneys start functioning in next two to four weeks; but only if the original insult, which resulted in Temporary kidney failure, is identified and treated effectively.

Temporary kidney failure usually does not recur. But, if not identified or if there is undue delay in seeking appropriate medical attention, within hours, the situation tends to deteriorate and the patients face a life-threatening, full blown, multi-organ failure syndrome.

Permanent kidney failure has five stages. Patients of one to four stages can be treated with medicines with the intention of retarding the speed of progression of the disease.However, the ultimate solution for a permanent kidney failure is either a lifelong dialysis or a Kidney Transplantation. Only patients of an advanced fifth stage require either dialysis or a Kidney Transplantation.

How can a Kidney Failure be prevented?

Like many other diseases, kidney failure is preventable.

The key steps in prevention of Temporary Kidney Failure lies in not ignoring fevers which are abrupt and severe in onset (These are the people who could have had serious infections severe enough to damage the kidneys and other vital organs) and avoiding self-medicating.

Similarly, Permanent Kidney Failure can also be very well prevented. The cornerstone of protecting ourselves from Permanent Kidney Failure lies in early recognition and control of diabetes and hypertension. Another way of preventing Permanent Kidney Failure is to avoid inconsiderate use of painkillers (such as Diclofenac and Ibuprofen) for prolonged period.

Kidneys are vital and wonderful creations of the Almighty and they are designed to function in a flawless manner. Simple precautions from our side will pave the path to maintain a healthy kidney.

Let us all commit to save our kidneys and the kidneys of our loved ones.

About The Doctor:

Dr P S Vali is a practising nephrologist based at Hyderabad. His areas of interest are Critical care Nephrology, Acute Kidney Injury (AKI), Therapy for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), Disorders of Sodium, Uncontrolled Hypertension, Blood Pressure in Young, Diabetic Kidney Disease, Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections & Renal Transplantation. He is an expert in Hemodialysis and Peritoneal Dialysis with vast experience in all modalities of Renal Replacement Therapy.


Sai Sanjeevini Multi Speciality Hospitals, a unit of Singapanga Healthcare Pvt. Ltd has been providing health services to the people in need for the last 14 years. This health care organisation combines practical, proven research, cutting edge procedures and state-of-the-art treatment to produce excellent medical and lifestyle outcome for our patients. Our hospital and medical staff provide innovative medical care in a friendly, compassionate, community environment conducive to patient recuperation in a family atmosphere.