Acute kidney injury or failure is caused by a sudden loss of the kidney's ability to remove toxins, excess chemicals and water.
Acute kidney injury often occurs in connection with another medical condition or event, such as extremely low blood pressure, decreased oxygen to the kidney and obstruction, trauma or infections to the kidney. It may also be a result of poor heart function, liver conditions or prostate gland enlargement. It often reverses within several weeks to months.
- Decreased urine output
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling, due to fluid retention
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in stools
- Fatigue or weakness
- Changes in mood or mental status
- Shortness of breath
When your kidneys are not working correctly, waste and fluids build up in your blood. Your doctor may want to start tracking your kidney function to measure your Estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR). The eGFR is an estimate of the amount of kidney function you have left. It is important to track your baseline eGFR and changes in this score over time. Ask your healthcare team about what is normal for you.
TreatmentTreatment is divided into hospital and post-discharge care. During hospital stay, the goal is to allow the kidneys to heal and prevent further buildup of fluids and waste products in the body. Certain foods may be restricted to keep you healthy and reduce stress on the kidneys. These foods include protein (meat, milk products, eggs), salt and potassium, which is found in some fruits and vegetables and salt substitutes. Fluids, including anything that becomes a liquid at room temperature, such as ice, Jello, yogurt and ice cream, may also be restricted.
- Swelling in the hands, face or feet
- Itching of the skin
- Nausea or vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Changes in urination
- Headache and confusion
- Fatigue and weakness, which may be due to anemia
- Feeling short of breath
If the kidneys do not recover, treatment begins for chronic kidney disease.
Why seek treatment at Ohio State
Ohio State is recognized by U.S.News & World Report as one of the nation's best hospitals for urology and nephrology. Schedule an appointment with Ohio State's urology and kidney experts. Ohio State is a leader in vascular access, having three interventional nephrologists, physicians specializing in the maintenance of vascular access for patients undergoing dialysis. Vascular Access Centers are located at University Hospital and University Hospital East.