How is acute kidney injury diagnosed?
Acute kidney injury is most often diagnosed during a hospital stay for another cause. If you are already in the hospital, tests done for other problems
may find your kidney problem.
If you're not in the hospital but have symptoms of kidney injury, your doctor
will ask about your symptoms, what medicines you take, and what tests
you have had. Your symptoms can help point to the cause of your kidney
Blood and urine tests can check how well your kidneys are
working. A chemistry screen can show if you have normal levels of
calcium. You may also have an
ultrasound. This imaging test lets your doctor see
a picture of your kidneys.
How is it treated?
Your doctor or a kidney
specialist (nephrologist) will try to treat the problem that is causing your
kidney injury. Treatment can vary widely, depending on the cause. For example, your doctor may need to restore blood flow to the kidneys, stop any medicines that may be causing the problem, or remove or bypass a blockage in the urinary tract.
At the same time, the doctor will try to:
- Stop wastes from building up in your body.
You may have
dialysis. This treatment uses a machine to do the work
of your kidneys until they recover. It will help you feel
- Prevent other problems. You may take antibiotics to prevent
or treat infections. You also may take other medicines to get rid of extra
fluid and keep your body's minerals in balance.
You can help yourself heal by taking your medicines as
your doctor tells you to. You also may need to follow a special diet to keep
your kidneys from working too hard. You may need to limit sodium, potassium,
phosphorus. A dietitian can help you plan
Does acute kidney injury cause lasting problems?
About half the time, doctors can fix the problems that cause kidney
injury. The treatment takes a few days or weeks. These people's kidneys will work well enough
for them to live normal lives.
But other people may have permanent
kidney damage that leads to
chronic kidney disease. A small number of them
will need to have regular
dialysis or a
kidney transplant. Older people and those who are
very sick from other health problems may not get better. People who die usually
do so because of the health problem that caused their kidneys to fail.