Acute Kidney Failure: Causes, Symptoms And Foods That Should Be Watched Out For

Acute kidney failure, which is also known as acute renal failure or acute kidney injury is one of the most potent life-threatening kidney conditions, and it is said to occur when the kidneys suddenly become unable to filter waste products from the blood, thus leading to a dangerous buildup of waste in the blood and an imbalance in the blood's chemical makeup.

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It often develops very quickly in most people, with its development often being just a matter of a few days. One other notable fact about the condition is that it is often more common in people who are critically ill, but it can sometimes occur in people who are in good health, with the condition capable of causing death and requiring intensive treatment.

People who are in good health often recover from the condition and may recover all or almost all of their kidney functions. Its status as a potentially life-ending condition stems from certain complications that often result from it. A few of the potential complications of acute kidney failure include fluid buildup in the lungs which causes shortness of breath.

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Others are chest pain as a result of inflammation of the pericardium or the lining that covers the heart; muscle weakness due to an imbalance between the body's fluid and electrolytes composition; permanent kidney damage due to the inability to effectively remove toxins and wastes from the body; and loss of kidney function which may ultimately lead to death.


The cause of acute kidney failure often revolves around three things and they are briefly discussed below:

1. Impaired blood flow to the kidneys

Having any disease or conditions that slow down the flow of blood to the kidney may lead to acute kidney failure. Some of the common conditions that can cause impaired blood flow to the heart include blood or fluid loss, heart disease, heart attack, liver failure, severe dehydration, infection, etc.

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2. Damage to the kidneys

Another thing that may lead to acute kidney failure is experiencing direct damage to the kidneys. A few of the conditions that can lead to direct damage to the kidneys include blood clots in the veins and arteries in and around the kidneys, cholesterol deposits around the kidneys, inflammation of the glomeruli, toxins such as alcohol, heavy metal and cocaine, etc.

3. Urine blockage in the kidneys

When the ureters become blocked and waste products cannot leave the body via urine, it can lead to acute kidney injury. Some of the conditions that can lead to a blockage of urine include nerve damage in the bladder, bladder cancer, kidney stones, prostate cancer, enlarged prostate, blood clots in the urinary tract and cervical cancer.


In some cases, acute kidney injury or failure does not show symptoms but when it does show signs and symptoms, the symptoms may include shortness of breath, decreased urine output, fluid retention which caused swelling in the legs, ankles or feet, fatigue and weakness, irregular heartbeat, nausea, and chest pain or pressure.

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Acute kidney injury can sometimes prove difficult to be prevented, however, you can reduce your risk of developing it by paying attention to the types of drugs especially pain medications you use, regular consultation with your doctor to manage chronic health issues such as chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, and making lifestyle changes.

Part of a healthy lifestyle would require you to eat certain foods and watch your intake of certain foods. A few of the foods you should avoid if you have symptoms similar to that of acute kidney failure or any other kidney issue are examined below:

1. Avocados

Despite their many health benefits, avocados should be avoided by those with kidney issues due to their rich potassium content, which can worsen kidney functioning.

2. Whole wheat bread

While whole wheat bread is often recommended over white bread, this is not so for people with kidney issues as whole wheat bread are high in potassium and phosphorus contents, which can be counterproductive for their health.

3. Processed meats

Processed meats such as sausages and hot dogs should also be avoided by those with acute kidney injury or other kidney issues due to their high sodium and protein content, which need not be high for those with such issues.

4. Processed foods

Processed foods and others such as packaged, instant and premade meals should also be avoided because of their excessively high salt content. Foods in this regard include frozen pizza, microwave meals and instant noodles.

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