Acute Kidney Injury
Acute kidney injury is the loss of kidney function over a short period of time (less than 48 hours). The reasons for the decrement in function could be from a reduction in blood flow to the kidney, an abnormality sustained within the kidney or an obstruction within the urinary tract.
Some of the symptoms are fatigue, nausea and vomiting, fluid retention, loss of appetite. However, many times there are no symptoms, so this problem can be difficult to detect. For this reason, the blood test (creatinine) to test for kidney injury is often part of routine blood testing.
Usually a nephrologist is called when your doctor sees a change on your blood test called a creatinine. When the creatinine goes up, the kidney is not getting rid of creatinine and that is how we know there is a kidney problem. The procedure includes urinalysis. kidney ultrasound and other blood tests that might show a reason why and how the kidney has been injured.
Many types of medications and fluids can be used to treat acute kidney injury depending on the cause.
We treat the underlying cause of kidney problem and this will usually stop many of the symptoms, so our patients typically don’t experience any distress while they are having the problem treated.
- Call your doctor when you do not feel well.
- Be aware of side-effects of medications that your doctor prescribes for you.
- If low blood pressure is the cause, we will give intravenous (IV) fluids.
- Avoid giving medications that can injure kidneys.
Most common questions our patients ask:
Question 1: Will my kidneys get better?
Most forms of acute kidney injury are treatable. There are some people who have progressive kidney failure who may need dialysis.
Question 2: If I start dialysis for acute kidney injury, will it be forever?
Sometimes. However, when dialysis is used as a result of acute kidney injury, the kidneys usually recover to a point where dialysis is no longer needed.
Question 3: Am I at risk for more kidney problems if I have had acute kidney injury?
Yes, having had acute kidney injury puts you at increased risk for developing chronic kidney disease from causes such as hypertension and diabetes.
Question 4: Will my kidney get all the way better?
Many people with acute kidney injury recover their kidney function all the way back to where they started.