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Acute Kidney Injury

May 23, 2021


Now, there are two kinds of kidney failure. One is acute. The other is chronic. Now chronic’s the one I’m always talking about. It leads to kidney disease. It’s usually due to diabetes, high blood pressure or something else, but it occurs over many, many years and scars up the kidney. Acute kidney injury is a sudden episode of kidney failure or damage that occurs over the period of a few hours to a few days. Acute kidney injury is common in those that are hospitalized, but especially in the older population. However, it can occur in younger, healthier populations as well. Let me explain it to you this way: the kidneys are a filter. They take the blood from your body, filter and clean it in the kidney itself, and then secrete the waste products, in the form of urine, out of the kidney, through ureters and then into your bladder.

Kidney injury can be caused by problems in one of three sites. Before the blood actually gets to the kidney, at the kidney itself, and then also after the kidneys make the urine. Now before the kidney, dehydration is probably the most common cause of kidney failure around. It’s typically caused by not consuming enough fluid, either having nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and those kinds of things, and getting sick. Other things that can cause injury before the kidney is having a low blood pressure, heart failure or other organ failure. Now at the site of the kidneys themselves, you can have damage if you ingest toxins, if you have an allergic reaction to medications, and some medications themselves can actually injure the kidneys. Also sepsis, which essentially is a massive inflammatory reaction in the body, can also cause kidney failure. As far as after the kidney, after kidney means you’re essentially blocking the flow of urine out of the kidney. And that can be incurred by kidney stones which block up ureters, enlarged prostates, which block urine leaving as well, and bladder issues. Now often acute kidney injury is reversible, especially if it’s due to dehydration, but sometimes there are lingering effects depending on the severity of the injury.

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