Kidney Disease Center

Kidney Failure

Kidney failure
The kidneys are very important organs. They clean and filter the blood and regulate the fluids in the body. However, the kidneys are subject to much disease. Some kidney disease are life threatening. Others can lead to complete kidney failure and require dialysis. What happens when the kidney goes through renal failure? And why do the kidneys to shut down?

What is kidney failure?
Healthy kidneys clean and filter blood by removing excess fluid, minerals and wastes. The kidneys also make hormones that keep bones strong and blood healthy. Harmful wastes can build up in the body with improper kidney function. A person's blood pressure may increase. The body may retain excess fluid and not make enough red blood cells. When this occurs, this is called kidney failure.

Kidney failure, also called renal failure, occurs when the kidneys improperly remove wastes. This usually results in a build up of waste and fluid in the body with a decrease in the number of red blood cells that are needed.

Types of kidney failure
There are three main types of kidney failure. They are:

  1. Acute kidney failure - acute failure develops suddenly sometimes because of drugs or other chemical  agents, physical trauma or severe infection
  2. Chronic kidney failure (CKF) - chronic failure develops gradually over years
  3. End-stage kidney diseases

Kidney failure can result in very serious medical problems. To better understand what causes kidney failure, and who is at risk of developing kidney problems, keep reading. The next section on risk factors and causes outlines the specific medical conditions that can increase your risk of acute renal failure.

NEXT: Causes and Risk Factors >>