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What Happens When Your Kidneys Slow Down or Stop


When your kidneys aren't working properly, you may be developing kidney failure. When this happens, harmful wastes and fluids can build up in your body, your blood pressure may rise, and your body may not be able to make enough red blood cells.

Types of kidney disease:

  • Chronic kidney failure
  • Acute kidney failure
  • End-stage renal disease
A gradual loss of kidney function that results from a long-term disease. This is the more common type of kidney failure and, although it cannot be reversed, it can be managed.

What Causes the Kidneys to Stop Working?

Kidney failure can be caused by a number of diseases or conditions:
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Lupus, polycystic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis
  • Injury or trauma and poisons
is the most common cause of kidney failure. High levels of blood sugar (glucose) in people with diabetes can damage the small blood vessels in the nephrons (called glomeruli) and cause the kidneys to fail. Review your blood sugar levels each time you visit your nurse or doctor. Know your numbers.

Symptoms You May Experience When Your Kidneys Stop Working

Symptoms of kidney failure can vary from person to person. Some people with kidney disease may not even feel sick, or they may not notice their symptoms. Often, some people do not feel sick until their kidneys are no longer removing waste. This is why kidney disease is sometimes called a "silent" disease.

As the disease gets worse and kidney function slows down, most people experience symptoms of uremia.
Uremia means urea or waste in blood.

Symptoms include :

  • feeling tired and/or weak,
  • swelling of the hands and feet,
  • shortness of breath,
  • appetite loss,
  • a bad taste in the mouth,
  • vomiting,
  • nausea,
  • weight loss,
  • difficulty sleeping,
  • itching,
  • muscle cramps,
  • darkening of the skin,
  • progressive reduction in amount of urine produced.

Be sure to tell your doctor or nurse if you feel any of these symptoms.
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