Kidney failure is the inability of the kidney(s) to filter waste products (toxins) and fluid. This results in a build-up of poisons in the bloodstream and fluid in the body. The individual may stop urinating. The poisons in the bloodstream may become dangerously high.
There are many causes of kidney failure. High blood pressure and diabetes are two of the most common causes of kindey failure. Multiple tests are performed to determine the cause. Sometimes kidney failure is temporary in other cases it is a chronic or life-long disease.
Filtering the blood through a machine to remove the poisons or waste products (dialysis) may be necessary. A person can live many years with kidney failure on dialysis. Others may be eligible for a kidney transplant.
If left untreated, kidney failure will make a patient very ill and could be fatal. A single healthy kidney can adequately filter the blood for an individual.
Related LinksNational Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine presents information and pictures about kidney failure.