What Causes Kidney Failure?

what causes kidney failure
Category: recovery

The kidneys play a key function in filtering waste products from your blood. When kidneys lose their ability to filter, this waste can build up in your system, disrupting your blood’s chemical makeup. Kidney failure, sometimes referred to as renal failure or acute kidney injury, can develop quickly—sometimes over the course of just a few days. It is most common in patients already in the hospital that are critically ill. 

Kidney failure symptoms include decreased urine output, fluid retention, fatigue, confusion, nausea, weakness, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain. In more severe cases, a patient may have a seizure or slip into a coma. 

The fact that kidney failure is most common in intensive care patients doesn’t mean, however, that you aren’t at risk. Kidney failure can be fatal, and your lifestyle habits can make all the difference in prevention.  

Interactions Between Alcohol Use and Kidney Health

Alcohol is a commonly consumed substance, but it can cause some major health problems despite its prevalent use by the public. According to the National Institute for Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, middle-aged people tend to develop issues due to heavy alcohol use, including alcoholic liver disease, alcoholic cardiomyopathy, neurodegeneration, acute and chronic pancreatitis, and kidney failure. The reason alcohol increases your risk of kidney failure is the damage it does to the kidneys through dehydrating the body and changing the kidneys’ ability to filter blood properly. 

Impact of Alcohol Use Disorder in Causing Kidney Failure

Alcohol is a harmful toxin on its own, and when consumed in large quantities due to alcohol use disorder, it can be detrimental. Substance use disorder is when a person loses control of their alcohol intake, and has frequent cravings and high tolerance for alcohol. This leads to heavy consumption. This level of drinking can also cause liver disease, impairing your body’s ability to evenly move blood into the kidneys for filtration. These factors all contribute to the failure of your kidneys to properly filter toxins—alcohol included—from the blood, leading to failure. 

Can Kidney Failure Be Reversed?

The short answer is yes. However, kidney failure treatment requires swift and intensive care. 

Although acute kidney failure can be reversed by intensive care, it is much easier to take steps in prevention before it occurs. 

You have one of two options for treatment: dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis involves artificially filtering your blood to remove waste materials. A kidney transplant is a solution that removes the need for long-term dialysis. However, it is a very involved surgery that requires a willing donor, and in many cases, permanent medications to care for the new kidney.

How to Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

There are a number of ways to maintain your kidney health, including a balanced diet and regular exercise. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDKD), a few ways to maintain kidney health would be to diversify the spices you use to cook to avoid heavy salt use, as well as adding more vegetables to your meals. Other solutions include baking food instead of frying it and limiting the amount of sugar in your diet. 

Another great way to maintain your health is to drink plenty of water throughout your day to promote hydration. Finally, the experts recommend engaging in at least 30 minutes (or more) of exercise per day. To read more about a healthy lifestyle to prevent kidney failure, visit the NIDDKD here. 

Alcohol Use Disorder Treatment in Hemet, CA

If you’re suffering from alcohol use disorder and you’re worried about health effects of this condition, contact Hemet Valley Recovery Center and Sage Retreat to speak with our knowledgeable admissions team.