What are the long term and short term effects of kidney failure?

Asked by Manisha Nayak | 5th Aug, 2012, 12:47: PM

Expert Answer:

Initial effects:

  • In kidney failure, the kidneys stop filtering harmful substances out of the body, so one of the initial effects is the buildup of chemicals that are toxic to the body. There is a build-up of nitrogen and other wastes in the blood, which slowly poisons the entire body.
  • There is seen abnormal fluid levels in the body, increased acid levels and abnormal levels of potassium, calcium, phosphate.
  • Other initial noticeable effects are frequently hiccuping, feeling unusually fatigued and ill, unusual generalized itching, frequent nausea, vomiting and headaches along with unintentional weight loss.These effects can have a serious impact on the body that lingers even after kidney treatment and management begins.


As the kidneys become further damaged, the later, long-term effects are:
  • Bloody vomit and/or stools,
  • Severely increased or decreased urine,
  • A marked decrease in alertness (delirium, orcoma, confusion and drowsiness),
  • Diminished sensations in the hands, feet and other areas,
  • Muscle cramps and twitching,
  • Seizures
  • Uremic frost (when white crystals form on the skin)
  • Anemia  
  • Delayed healing in broken bones 
  • Depending on the cause, hematuria (blood loss in the urine) and proteinuria (protein loss in the urine) may occur. 
  • Long-term kidney problems have significant repercussions on other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease.
  • Heart diseases are the leading cause of death in end-stage renal disease.
  • When kidneys fail to fulfill their function, it affects the brain and nervous system.

Answered by  | 7th Aug, 2012, 09:40: AM

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