Kidney Weakness (Renal Insufficiency)

Kidney weakness or renal insufficiency (also known as kidney failure) is divided into acute and chronic forms. Acute renal failure can occur suddenly and within a few hours. The cause is usually a disturbed renal perfusion. However, if the kidney weakness occurs more frequently or lasts for a longer period of time, it can be referred to as chronic kidney failure.

Kidney Weakness (Renal Insufficiency)

What is kidney weakness (renal insufficiency)?

In the case of prolonged kidney weakness (renal insufficiency), these two bean-shaped organs in the rear part of the pelvis are chronically inflamed. In the case of kidney weakness, this inflammation leads to progressive destruction of the kidney tissue, so that the blood can no longer be completely cleaned. If the symptoms of kidney weakness remain undetected, acute kidney failure with coma can occur, which is life-threatening. See etaizhou for What does HOC Mean.

Depending on the degree of kidney weakness, it is divided into 5 stages. Chronic kidney failure can also go unnoticed for a long time until it leads to acute kidney failure. The tissue of the kidneys is then so destroyed that only about 10% actually function for detoxification. Due to the lack of detoxification of the body, all other organs are affected in the case of kidney weakness and the water excretion and purification of the blood must then be carried out by regular dialysis or a transplant.


Kidney weakness or renal insufficiency occurs in 40% of all cases as a result of diabetes mellitus. In 25% of patients, this disease develops due to unknown factors. There are also hereditary factors that promote cyst formation in the kidneys, which also leads to inflammation of the kidney corpuscles. Furthermore, high blood pressure and the intake of kidney-damaging drugs in other chronic diseases can lead to permanent damage and kidney failure.

A genetic disposition also seems to play a role in the development of this chronic form of kidney failure. There are congenital malformations of the urethra in which some of the urine is flushed back into the kidneys, where it can also lead to inflammation and chronic kidney weakness. Apart from that, obesity and smoking are factors that also promote kidney weakness.

Kidney weakness can begin harmlessly at first with more frequent bladder problems or fatigue and infections. Anyone who discovers and treats the symptoms early protects themselves from the progressive destruction of kidney weakness and life-threatening acute kidney failure as well as the consequential damage.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

Kidney weakness can initially go completely unnoticed. The chronic form in particular does not show any typical features at the beginning. Later, patients usually suffer increasingly from difficult-to-control blood pressure. They often exceed the limit values ​​of 140/90 mmHg for no apparent reason.

Changes in the color and consistency of the urine are common. This one turns out lighter. An increased proportion of proteins leads to a clearly visible formation of foam when urinating. Sometimes small admixtures of blood cause a cloudier and darker tone. As a rule, however, the proportion is not in the visually perceptible range (microhematuria).

Due to the limited performance, the body stores water in the form of edema. Those affected also notice weight gain that is difficult to understand, loss of appetite and general malaise. As a result, there are fluctuations in the electrolyte and acid-base balance. In addition to reduced efficiency of the immune system, the lack of the hormone erythropoietin (EPO) reduces the number of red blood cells.

As a result, anemia develops, which is accompanied by a general feeling of weakness, pale skin and problems concentrating. In the long term, problems with blood pressure and the lack of purification of the blood provoke organic malfunctions throughout the body.

Visual disturbances, nausea, diffuse pain in the bones and severe itching are caused by the uremic syndrome. Permanent changes in the cardiovascular system also put a strain on physical well-being. Extreme contamination can result in drowsiness, convulsions, and even unconsciousness or even coma.

course of the disease

In the case of acute kidney failure, it is important to consult the doctor as early as possible. Symptoms of kidney failure are similar to symptoms of a cold or flu and are therefore often difficult to interpret. Fatigue, weakness, high temperature or high fever with pain in the kidney area or around the bladder are signs of kidney disease. If a bladder infection first appears with a frequent urge to urinate, any family doctor can immediately see through a urine sample under the microscope whether there are acute pathogens for a flu-like infectionpresent. These pathogens are fought with special antibiotics. If the symptoms still don’t go away within three days and the symptoms get worse, you should consult a urologist or go to the clinic.

The condition of the skin with extreme paleness and the breathing and heart rate as well as the blood filling of the veins in the neck give the doctor indications of kidney weakness. The number of white blood cells, the C-reactive protein, liver values ​​and fat values ​​are further indications for the diagnosis for the doctor. Physicians also speak of prerenal and postrenal kidney failure in the case of kidney weakness. In prerenal cases, the doctor can prevent further complications such as cardiac arrhythmias, infections and pulmonary edema; in the case of postrenal failure of the kidneys, damage caused by urinary retention in the renal cavities must be determined. Then a kidney puncture is necessary, whereby tissue is also removed for histological diagnosis.


If left untreated, the clinical picture of renal insufficiency progresses until the kidneys fail completely. The more kidney tissue is destroyed, the slower the kidneys can process the fluid they take in. In the final stage of kidney failure, the toxins that should be excreted by the kidneys accumulate in the blood, so that only dialysis can help. Here the blood is regularly withdrawn from the body, cleaned of pollutants and fed back in – a lengthy and strenuous procedure.

Since blood pressure is also regulated by the hormones of the kidneys, the angiotensin-aldosterone-renin system, further complications can occur here. Physicians speak of renal, i.e. caused by the kidneys, high pressure.

The list of other complications of kidney failure is long: an increased tendency to break bones, water retention in the legs and tissues, urine smell on the skin, pale yellowish skin color, cardiac arrhythmia, water in the lungs, cramps caused by the brain, poor elimination of medication, Salt deficiency, potassium deficiency, vomiting and diarrhea. Every single complication should be taken seriously and discussed with the doctor.

When should you go to the doctor?

Kidney weakness is often only recognized when the kidney tissue is already severely damaged. Early clarification of typical symptoms is all the more important. Tiredness, edema in the legs and signs of anemia should be examined by the family doctor. The doctor can determine whether the symptoms indicate kidney weakness and, if necessary, initiate treatment directly. People who suffer from kidney failure should consult their family doctor regularly. If you suspect that the symptoms are getting worse, it is advisable to see a doctor. In particular, sudden spasmodic pain or swelling in the area of ​​the kidneys must be clarified, as a kidney infarction may be imminent. If a kidney infarction occurs, the emergency doctor must be calledto be summoned.

The affected person must receive immediate medical attention. Kidney failure is treated by your family doctor or a doctor who specializes in kidney diseases. Other contacts are the internist and the gastroenterologist, always depending on the symptoms present and the cause of the kidney weakness. Advanced kidney failure requires hospital treatment. Since a cure is only possible through an organ transplant, appropriate preparatory measures must be taken. Furthermore, it is necessary to change the diet, for which a visit to a nutritionist is recommended. In the case of chronic diseases, therapeutic help is also useful.

Treatment & Therapy

As soon as the blood is no longer sufficiently filtered in the case of kidney weakness (renal insufficiency), substances to be excreted, such as creatinine and urea, increase in the blood. This is determined by a blood test. The higher the proportion of these substances in the blood, the weaker the function of the kidneys. If the urea value has risen to over 450 milligrams per liter of blood, there is a disorder. Above all, the increase in protein in the urine is a sure sign of kidney weakness.

The family doctor will use this value to make an initial diagnosis using the quick test. Based on the GFR, the globular filtration rate, the family doctor can also immediately determine how acute the disease is. Increased urine sediment is always an indicator of a disorder. Afterwards, the amount of creatinine in particular must be measured. Unfortunately, this value only shows an increase when the kidney function has already fallen by more than 50%. Unfortunately, kidney failure is often diagnosed too late.

To ensure that the patient does not fall into acute kidney failure with a coma, treatment must be initiated immediately. The so-called creatinine clearance is more suitable for the diagnosis. It is determined how quickly the kidneys filter out the existing creatinine from the blood. Only when the kidney function drops by 60% does one speak of acute insufficiency. If the kidneys are weaker than 80%, the patient has to go through dialysisbe treated in order to carry out the severely disturbed blood purification by machine. Dialysis always takes several hours. Depending on the severity, dialysis patients have to go to a dialysis department of the clinic every 2-4 weeks to be connected to a dialysis machine for a few hours. This is a significant reduction in quality of life.

In order to prevent kidney weakness, doctors advise herbal medicines such as herbal teas and tablets made from medicinal herbs to strengthen the urogenital tract in the event of recurring bladder infections . Hardening with Kneipp cures is also recommended.

Outlook & Forecast

The earlier chronic kidney failure is diagnosed and treated, the better the prognosis. However, damage to the kidney tissue that has already occurred cannot be reversed. Chronic renal failure has an insidious course, with men and the elderly and physically weak patients expected to progress more rapidly than otherwise physically fit patients and women.

High blood pressure and blood pressure values ​​have a negative impact on the course of the disease. Smoking, alcohol consumption, obesity and other risk factors also have a negative effect on the prognosis. Chronic kidney failure usually shortens the life expectancy of patients. People with chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus or high blood pressure are particularly at risk.

In general, poor physical condition has a negative impact on the prognosis. Acute kidney failure leads to kidney failure and, as a result, to the death of the patient in half of the cases. The main causes of death are concomitant diseases such as blood poisoning or heart attacks. As a result, life expectancy is greatly reduced.

Renal function recovers largely in only a few patients, provided the cause of the acute renal failure is treated quickly. The prognosis for chronic and acute kidney failure is made by a specialist in internal medicine with regard to the symptoms and the constitution of the patient.


Many patients resign themselves with the finding of renal insufficiency and feel powerless. In a necessary help network for aftercare, consisting of relatives, loved ones and the medical dialysis staff, help and support are of great importance. In the follow-up care, the patients should be prepared to live with the necessary control and abstinence.

The attending physician and nephrologist will face and individually answer the patient’s questions and fears about the future related to the disease. Psychotherapeutic support is therefore enormously important in order to better process psychosocial stress, repressed feelings and depressive moods. The reduced quality of life caused by renal insufficiency is improved and stabilized by follow-up care.

This also improves the situation in the family environment. A zest for life and a confidence for the future combined with the necessary self-confidence return. However, during follow-up, the ongoing medical dependency and limitation to control renal function associated with drug treatment remains. Only a stable family and social environment can help to bear this burden on the patient during follow-up care and prevent him from social withdrawal.

You can do that yourself

Loss of appetite and nausea as a result of kidney failure often lead to malnutrition, which leads to the loss of muscle mass and impairment of many bodily functions. Sick people should therefore attach great importance to a balanced diet, but protein, sodium, potassium and phosphate should only be consumed in moderation. A carbohydrate-rich diet is ideal, salt should be used sparingly.

In order to ensure an adequate supply of vital (essential) amino acids, a combination of animal and vegetable protein sources such as milk and wheat or legumes and eggs is recommended. Milk, hard and soft cheese may be consumed sparingly, but it is better for the sick to avoid processed cheese, canned fish, heavily salted sausage and meat types and convenience products. Potassium is plentiful in fruit and vegetable juices, nuts, bananas, dried fruit and mushrooms, so these foods should rarely be on the menu.

In the case of renal insufficiency that requires dialysis, it is not necessary to restrict protein intake, since the blood wash removes all urinary substances. The amount of fluid required per day depends on the severity of the kidney weakness and is determined by the doctor treating you. Patients requiring dialysis in particular must strictly adhere to a limit on the amount they drink: Ice cubes and pieces of lemon are suitable for quenching thirst in between meals, and rinsing out the mouth and chewing sugar-free chewing gum can also relieve thirst.