Is the gradual inability of the kidneys to eliminate the body’s waste. When the kidneys fail, the waste products build up and cause symptoms that vary in severity.
Causes of Renal Failure, Chronic
A diverse group of disorders may produce chronic renal failure. They all have in common the production of damage in the functional unit of the kidney. Causes include collagen vascular diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus. Infections, such as chronic glomerulonephritis and chronic urinary-tract infections are often implicated. Congenital kidney abnormalities, such as polycystic kidney disease may be associated with the eventual development of chronic renal failure. Metabolic disorders of long standing, such as diabetes mellitus, frequently, leads to damaged kidneys. Obstruction of the urinary tract, from stones, tumors, or enlarged prostates, in men, can lead to chronic renal failure. Excessive use of many drugs and chemicals, especially phenacetin or streptomycin, can lead to renal failure. Atherosclerosis can lead to narrowing of the blood vessels that supply the kidney.
Signs and Symptoms of Renal Failure, Chronic
Chronic renal failure usually occurs over a period of time. Usually, there are no specific symptoms until about 2/3 of kidney filtration fails. At that time, a number of symptoms begin to be identified. Frequently, there is anemia. This produces pallor, shortness of breath and rapid heart rate. Chronic renal failure may also affect neurological and muscle function, leading to tingling and numbness in the extremities and muscle cramps and spasms. The kidneys are important in certain vitamin metabolism and chronic renal failure can lead to weakened bones that easily become fractured. Women commonly have cessation of their menstrual cycle and absence of menstrual bleeding. High blood pressure, abdominal pain and swelling and generalized swelling can occur. The skin often itches. Bleeding and easy bruising may occur. As toxins build up, listlessness, mental confusion, drowsiness and stupor may occur. Coma may develop. Bleeding gums and ulcers in the mouth often occur. There is a loss of libido and decreased sex drive.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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