The human body is a complex system with hundreds of moving parts, all working together in order to make you, you. And for the most part, we don’t usually give these working parts a second thought, that is unless they start to decline, work improperly, or even worse, fail. The kidneys are such a part.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with anatomy, the kidneys are a pair of organs situated toward the lower back. They are responsible for filtering your blood and removing toxins from the body, which then get sent to the bladder and are eventually removed from the body during urination. Needless to say, removing toxins from the body is vital for survival, but what happens when the kidneys begin to fail at this task?
Simply put, kidney failure is when your kidneys lose the ability to filter waste from your blood efficiently; however, kidney failure is an umbrella term. In reality, there are actually five distinct types of kidney failure, each with their own characteristics.
Acute Prerenal Kidney Failure
This type of kidney failure is the result of insufficient blood flow to the kidneys. As it should stand to reason, the kidneys cannot sufficiently filter toxins from the blood unless there is blood flowing through to filter. Fortunately, this type of kidney failure can typically be cured once the doctor determines the cause of the reduced blood flow.
Acute Intrinsic Kidney Failure
Acute intrinsic kidney failure is usually caused by direct trauma to the kidneys, such as car accident, fall down the stairs or sports injury. However, it can also be caused an overload of toxins in the body or a lack of oxygen to the kidneys, also known as ischemia.
Chronic Prerenal Kidney Failure
Like most parts of the body, the kidneys require blood, not only to filter but to survive. However, if there isn’t enough blood flowing to the kidneys, they can begin to shrink and lose function.
Chronic Intrinsic Kidney Failure
This type of kidney failure doesn’t happen overnight, rather, it is the result of long-term damage due to intrinsic kidney disease. A person will normally develop intrinsic kidney disease as a result of direct trauma to the organs.
Chronic Post-Renal Kidney Failure
Having to pee but not being able to be one of the most uncomfortable feelings imageable. However, what you may not have known is that it can also cause significant kidney damage; even failure. When there is a blockage of the urinary tract it prevents urination. As a result, this causes pressure to build in the kidneys, eventually leading to damage or failure.