Chronic renal failure

Chronic renal failure is the progressive deterioration of glomerular filtration rate below 60mil/min, which results in retention of urea and nitrogen products. This process alters the hydroelectrolyte and acid-base balance. In addition, there is a decrease in the production of hormones such as erythropoietin and vitamin D, as a consequence of the rapid loss of the kidneys’ ability to eliminate waste products.

Causes and symptoms

The most frequent causes of chronic renal failure are other diseases. These are, in order of frequency, diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, glomerular diseases and genetic causes.

Clinically, chronic renal failure may go unnoticed until very advanced stages of the disease, hence the importance of early diagnosis. The disease may manifest with new-onset hypertension, bloody urine, swelling of the hands and feet, fatigue or increased nighttime urination frequency. Symptoms of chronic renal failure also include decreased or absent urine output, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting.

Treatment

The best treatment for this disease is none other than prevention. The patient should avoid and treat diabetes, obesity or hypertension. Each cause has a specific treatment, so diagnosis is essential. If left untreated, the consequences can be severe loss of renal function. At this point, treatment must be considered to replace renal function by means of renal transplantation or dialysis.

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