According to the Mayo Clinic, chronic kidney failure is the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood which are then excreted in your urine. During chronic kidney failure, dangerous levels of fluid and waste can accumulate in the body.
In the early stages of chronic kidney failure there are few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney failure may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired.
Signs and symptoms of kidney failure may include: decreased urine output or no urine output, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue and weakness, sleep problems, decreased mental sharpness, muscle twitches and cramps, swelling of the feet and ankles, and persistent itching.
Treatment for chronic kidney failure, also called chronic kidney disease, focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney failure can progress to end-stage kidney disease, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
If kidney damage continues to progress to the point where your kidneys are functioning at less than 15 percent of capacity, you have end-stage kidney disease. Your kidneys are no longer able to keep up with waste and fluid clearance on their own. Soon, dialysis or a kidney transplant becomes the only option to support life.
Dialysis is an artificial means of removing waste products and extra fluid from your blood when your kidneys aren’t able to perform these functions. There are two types of dialysis. In hemodialysis, blood is pumped out of your body to a machine that works like an artificial kidney, filtering waste out of your blood. The blood is then pumped back into your body. Another type of dialysis, called peritoneal dialysis, involves pumping a dialysis solution into your abdominal cavity. Peritoneal dialysis relies on your body’s network of tiny blood vessels to carry waste products and excess fluids to your abdominal cavity where the dialysis solution absorbs them. The dialysis solution is then pumped out of your body, carrying the waste and excess fluids with it.
The diseases and conditions that commonly cause chronic kidney failure according to the Mayo Clinic include: type I diabetes, type II diabetes, high blood pressure, enlarged prostate, kidney stones, bladder cancer, kidney cancer, a condition that causes urine to back up into your kidneys (vesicoureteral reflux), polycystic kidney disease, kidney infection (pyelonephritis), Glomerulonephritis, lupus, scleroderma, vasculitis, and damage to the artery that carries blood to your kidneys (renal artery stenosis).
However, there is one that they leave off, and that is the fact that prescription drugs, such as OsmoPrep is linked to kidney failure. OsmoPrep is used for cleansing of the colon in preparation for colonoscopy, an examination of the inside of the colon to check for colon cancer and other abnormalities. The tablets are taken with any clear liquid, it works by causing diarrhea so that all the stool can be emptied from the colon. They are in a class of medications called saline laxatives.
Although this drug was licensed by the FDA in 2006; in 2008, after several reports of kidney failure related to this drug, they issued a box warning for the label. Therefore it should have been included on the exhaustive list by the Mayo Clinic for causes, but for one reason or the other, it has not been.