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Chronic Renal Failure – Causes and Symptoms of Chronic Renal Failure

Chronic renal failure (CRF) is a disease of the kidneys where the renal functioning is gradually impaired. The main function of the kidneys is to filter wastes and excess fluids from the blood which are later excreted in the urine. This disease may seem to come on suddenly, but the damage to the kidneys may be happening bit by bit for many years. This disease is also called chronic renal insufficiency or chronic renal failure.

Causes of Chronic renal insufficiency
CRF occurs when a disease or any condition impairs kidney function which occurs over several years or months, that causes damage to the kidney. Diseases and conditions that cause CRF include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney stones
  • Renal cancer
  • Poly cystic disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Damage to the artery that carries blood to the kidneys
  • Lupus
  • Bladder cancer
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • A condition that causes urine to back pack into the kidneys
  • Vesicoureteral reflux
  • Kidney infection
  • Vasculitis

Other factors
Some factors may increase the risk of infection. They include:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • A family history of kidney disease
  • Heart disease
  • Age above 65 years or older
  • African-American, American Indian or Asian-Americans are at a higher risk of this disease

Symptoms
The symptoms that occur as a result of kidney failure that develops slowly over time include:

  • Vomiting
  • Decreased urine output
  • In some cases, there can be no urine output
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Persistent itching
  • Swelling of the feet and ankles
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems

Complications of CRF
The complications related to CRF include:

  • Fluid retention which can lead to swelling of the arms and legs
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Anemia
  • Damage to the central nervous system
  • Inflammation of the covering of the heart (pericardium)
  • Irreversible damage to the kidneys, which is the end stage disease requiring either kidney transplant or dialysis for survival

When to consult your physician?
If you suffer from any of these signs or symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor immediately before your condition worsens because CRF develops slowly and progressively.

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