Kidney failure is a serious medical condition that occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to filter out waste from the blood. Patients can develop acute kidney failure due to a sudden medical event, or experience chronic kidney failure where the condition develops slowly over time.
There are several diagnostic tests that doctors use to determine whether a patient has kidney failure, including urinalysis and medical imaging. If you suspect that your kidneys are failing, it is critical to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Symptoms of Kidney Failure
Like many medical conditions, patients may not notice symptoms of kidney failure at first. Some of the early warnings signs of this condition include shortness of breath, a reduction in urine, and fluid retention in the feet, legs, and ankles.
As the condition progresses, symptoms become more obvious and bothersome. If you have kidney failure, you could experience any of the following symptoms.
- Excessive fatigue
- Decreased urine output
- Swelling in the limbs
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent nausea
- Chest pain or pressure
Diagnostic Tests for Kidney Failure
When you go to the doctor with symptoms of kidney failure, he or she may run a variety of diagnostic tests. These exams help the doctor pinpoint key signs of kidney failure, such as an excess of protein in the urine.
Some of the most common ways that doctors test for kidney failure include the following.
- Blood Samples: If your blood contains high levels of substances that your kidneys are supposed to filter out, you likely have kidney failure. As a result, your doctor may order blood tests to measure these substances, such as creatinine and blood urea nitrogen.
- Urinalysis: Your urine can tell a doctor a lot about your health. Your physician may order a urine sample test to look for any unusual substances in your urine, such as the presence of sediment or bacteria.
- Urine Volume Measurements: People with kidney failure secrete less urine than people with functioning kidneys. Your doctor may measure your urine output over time, helping diagnose kidney failure.
- Medical Imaging: Your doctor may order imaging tests, such as ultrasounds, MRIs, and CT scans, to gain a clearer picture of your organ health. These tests take images of your kidneys, which your doctor can analyze to determine whether you are experiencing kidney failure.
- Tissue Samples: Your doctor may want to collect samples of kidney tissue to examine for any abnormalities, such as scarring or strange deposits. Your doctor will perform a kidney biopsy to obtain the sample.
What to Do If You Have Kidney Failure
If you experience any symptoms of kidney failure, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Visit the doctor, follow his or her treatment instructions, and continue to receive follow-up care. Save all records related to your condition and your treatment.
Many factors can cause kidney failure, including exposure to toxins or defective medication that causes kidney damage. In fact, many patients who used to take Zantac, a popular heartburn drug, are filing lawsuits after they develop kidney problems due to the medication.
If you believe that Zantac use is responsible for your kidney failure, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact an attorney with experience handling Zantac lawsuits to discuss your case eligibility and understand your legal options.