Renal failure or dysfunction, also referred to as renal insufficiency or kidney failure, is a condition whereby the kidneys fail to filter toxic and waste materials from the body, according to WebMD. The two forms of renal failure are acute kidney failure and chronic kidney disease.
Acute kidney failure means that the kidneys have stopped functioning, explains WebMD. Causes include injury, heavy loss of blood, poisons, infections, medicines and health conditions such as kidney stones.
Chronic kidney disease or chronic renal disease is the gradual loss of renal function over a period. This can be months or years. Unlike acute kidney failure, which is reversible with proper treatment, chronic kidney disease in most cases is not reversible. High blood pressure and diabetes are the common causes of chronic kidney disease, states MedlinePlus.
Types of symptoms of kidney failure include nausea, frequent urination, weight loss, vomiting and swelling of the feet, legs or hands. To test for kidney disease, doctors conduct urine, blood and imaging tests. A kidney biopsy to get a kidney tissue sample is required in certain cases, explains MayoClinic.
The type of treatment for kidney failure depends on its severity. In severe cases, a kidney transplant or regular dialysis is required. In less serious cases, a doctor may recommend certain medication and a change in diet and lifestyle habits, says MedlinePlus. Short-term dialysis may be necessary to help eliminate harmful wastes from the body