Chronic Renal Failure Complications

by Carol Gomes


Chronic renal failure or CRF occurs when there is a slow decline in the functions of the kidney such as conserving electrolytes, concentrating urine, and excreting wastes. Several disorders cause chronic renal failure. A few of these are diabetes, hypertension, sickle cell anemia, and lupus.

Chronic renal failure slowly gets worse unlike the acute renal failure which is a sudden, reversible kidney failure. Several major diseases often cause the gradual loss of kidney functions.

Chronic renal failure sometimes occurs over a slight number of years while the internal parts of the kidney slowly deteriorate. This progression may lead to end-stage renal disease or ESRD.

End-stage renal disease or end-stage kidney disease is the nearly complete or complete kidney failure. This is one of the chronic renal failure complications. The kidney is unable to excrete wastes, regulate electrolytes and concentrate urine for a day to day life. End-stage renal disease usually occurs as the kidney works at only 10% of the normal kidney functions. End-stage renal disease can be prevented if the patient is puts careful attention to blood pressure and diet.

One of the chronic renal failure complications is fluid retention. Fluid regularly seeps out into the body tissues from the blood vessels. A network of tubes called the lymphatic system drains the fluid from the tissues and puts it back to the bloodstream. Fluid retention basically occurs because the fluid is not removed from the tissues which cause the swelling.

Chronic renal failure complications in children are more problematic than those of an adult. The attendant services and clinical care require the proper management of the patients, their families, and the treating pediatric nephrologists. Treatment for CRF on children has to be tailor-made to suit the needs of the children. Nevertheless, some of the complications in children involve Congenital structural malformations, including vesicoureteral reflux, obstruction, hypoplasia, and dysplasia.

Women with chronic renal failure develop more complications during pregnancy. Mothers who have chronic renal failure have a higher risk of developing premature births, cesarean delivery, giving birth to babies with lower weight, and lower APGAR scores. These depend on the renal insufficiency and the presence of hypertension. Management involves having several experts at a tertiary center such as a mother-child medicine specialist as well as a nephrologist. These women should seek counseling about the complications during pregnancy caused by hypertension. Their blood pressure has to be controlled. They will need to have frequent visits as well as monitoring of the renal function during pregnancy.


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