Kidney failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease, occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to properly remove waste products from your blood and control the level of fluid in your body. People with kidney failure need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. If you have kidney disease, that doesn’t mean you will develop kidney failure. You can lose up to 90% of your kidney function before you experience symptoms. In many cases, the signs of the disease are not noticed until the kidneys are close to failure.

Signs of kidney disease

  1. You’re more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating.
  2. You’re having trouble sleeping.
  3. You have dry and itchy skin.
  4. You feel the need to urinate more often.
  5. You see blood in your urine.
  6. Your urine is foamy.
  7. You’re experiencing persistent puffiness around your eyes.
  8. Your ankles and feet are swollen.

Types of kidney failure

Acute: Acute kidney failure, otherwise known as acute kidney injury or acute renal failure, comes on suddenly, typically within a few hours or days.

Chronic: When a condition is chronic, it means that it occurs over a long period of time. Damage to the kidneys occurs gradually and can eventually lead to kidney failure.

Common causes of AKF include:

  • low blood flow to the kidneys
  • inflammation
  • sudden high blood pressure
  • blockages, sometimes due to kidney stones

Common causes of CKD include:

You are more at risk of CKD if you:

  • have diabetes
  • have high blood pressure
  • are obese
  • are over 60 years of age
  • have a family history of end-stage kidney disease or hereditary kidney disease in a first or second degree relative
  • have established heart problems (heart failure or a past heart attack) or have had a stroke
  • smoke
  • have a history of acute kidney injury
  • are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin.

Some risk factors include:

  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • a family history of kidney failure
  • heart disease

Is Kidney Failure Permanent

Acute kidney failure occurs when your kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from your blood. When your kidneys lose their filtering ability, dangerous levels of waste products can build up and the chemistry of your blood can become imbalanced. Acute kidney disease – also called acute kidney failure or acute kidney injury – develops rapidly, usually within a few days. Acute kidney failure is more common in people who are already hospitalized, especially in seriously ill people who need intensive care. Acute kidney failure can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. However, acute kidney failure can be reversible. If you are otherwise healthy, you may return to normal or near normal kidney function.