Acute Renal Failure Causes

Acute renal failure causes include causes that arise from problems in the kidneys themselves, but also include a wide range of other disorders and conditions that occur elsewhere in the human body. Before discussing acute renal failure causes further, let's take a moment to define what acute renal failure is.

Acute renal failure means the same thing as acute kidney failure ("renal" is a medical term that characterizes anything related to the kidneys). Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly and unexpectedly become incapable of performing their normal functions, which include filtering wastes, toxins and excess fluids from your blood. Typically, this happens when your kidneys become irreversibly damaged by injury or disease. It may also happen if blood flow to the kidneys is blocked or obstructed for some reason. Acute kidney failure is also likely when wastes filtered by your kidneys cannot be excreted through urine and begin to accumulate in your body.

acute renal failure causesThere's a significant different between acute renal failure and chronic renal failure. Chronic renal failure is a kidney problem that develops over an extended period of time, slowly destroying kidney function as it progresses. Acute kidney failure can occur in a very short period of time due to one or a combination of the causes listed below. Acute renal failure is a life-threatening medical emergency.

Diseases and disorders that may lead to acute renal failure include:

  • kidney infections
  • a blood clot in the veins and arteries in or near the kidneys
  • an accumulation of cholesterol that blocks the flow of blood to or in the kidneys
  • Lupus, an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks your own tissues
  • Scleroderma, another autoimmune disease that affects the blood vessels and connective tissue
  • certain drugs and medications, including some chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics and dyes used during imaging tests
  • certain kinds of cancer, especially multiple myeloma
  • recreational substances like cocaine and alcohol
  • environmental substances like heavy metals

The following are diseases and disorders that block or obstruct blood flow to the kidneys

  • sudden blood loss
  • heart attack and heart disease
  • infections
  • liver problems, especially cirrhosis
  • severe allergic reactions
  • severe burns
  • extreme dehydration
  • vasculitis, which causes swollen blood vessels
  • certain medications, including blood pressure medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen

Urinary obstructions that block urine excretion include:

  • kidney stones
  • certain forms of cancer, especially bladder, cervical, prostate and colon cancers
  • blood clots in the urinary tract
  • prostate problems, especially benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
  • damage involving the nerves that control the bladder

Treating the causes of acute renal failure is the key to success. But the unfortunate truth is that you cannot live for long if your kidneys don't work. This is why acute renal failure is a serious kidney problem. Diagnosis must be made and treatment administered quickly. Treatment usually requires a hospital stay. Doctors will administer medications and fluids to restore chemical imbalances, but in some cases, kidney dialysis may be necessary. In extreme cases where damage to kidney tissue is extensive and irreversible, a kidney transplant may be needed.



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