Kidney Disease Center

Kidney Failure Causes and Risk Factors

What causes kidney failure?
Three types of conditions can cause acute kidney failure:

1. Pre-renal conditions which disrupt blood flow on its way to the kidney. The following conditions can all prevents an adequate amount of blood or blood flow from reaching the kidneys:

  • Extremely low blood pressure
  • Heart function problems
  • Low blood volume

2. Renal conditions which directly damage the structures of the kidney. Any of the following conditions can cause renal failure:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Kidney inflammation
  • Toxins ( alcohol, cocaine, heavy metals, solvents, fuels or medications)
  • Reduced blood flow to the renal tubules (atherosclerosis)

3. Post renal conditions which interfere with the urinary excretion of waste from the filtering process. Conditions that block the passage of urine out of the body an also lead to acute kidney failure. These include:

  • Ureter obstruction (kidney stones, large kidney cyst, tumors)
  • Bladder obstruction (prostate enlargement, bladder stone, blood clot, tumor or a nerve disorders)

Risk factors
Acute kidney failure usually occurs in connection with another medical condition or event. Most people who experience acute kidney failure are already in the hospital for other reasons. Conditions that increase your risk of acute kidney failure include:

  • advanced age
  • bladder outlet obstruction
  • chronic infection
  • diabetes
  • heart failure
  • high blood pressure
  • immune disorders ( lupus, IgA nephropathy and scleroderma)
  • kidney diseases
  • liver diseases
  • prostate gland enlargement
  • shock of any kind that causes decrease blood flow through the body
  • various blood disorders

To better understand the symptoms of kidney failure, continue reading here. The next section on symptoms outlines the signs of renal failure symptoms for those who think that they may be experiencing the condition.

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