Your kidneys are reddish bean-shaped organs that provide important functions for the body, including filtering the blood and releasing hormones necessary for red blood production. When these vital organs are not working, it can lead to coma, other organ failure or even death. However, the earlier you catch the signs of kidney shutdown, the better your prognosis.
Changes in Urine
Your kidneys are the main organs in your urinary system, which is responsible for removing waste from your blood and turning it into the urine. Therefore, just about any change in your urine can be the first sign of kidney shutdown. If your kidneys are failing, your urine can appear darker than normal. There may also be blood in it because your kidneys are not filtering your blood properly. It can also possess a foul or pungent odor.
Healthy kidneys remove excess water from the blood and use it to create urine. When your kidneys shut down, they fail to do this and the water must find somewhere else to go. Sometimes, this causes swelling in unusual places, like your extremities or the around the eyes. This swelling is called edema, and is another sign of kidney shutdown. It can show up as swollen ankles or fingers, particularly after you have been sitting or standing for long periods of time.
Anemia, a condition where your blood has a low oxygen count, is a common condition that many people have on their own. However, if your anemia is a recent diagnosis, it can be a sign of kidney shutdown. Your kidneys release a hormone that encourages the production of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen molecules through your blood and to every part of your body, where the oxygen is used to carry on each cell's biological processes. When your kidneys shut down,fewer red blood cells are produced; and therefore, fewer red blood cells carry oxygen in your blood, causing anemia.
Uremia is a condition marked by elevated levels of urea in the blood. Urea is the waste by-product of protein breakdown. Healthy kidneys remove urea from the blood and uremia can be a sign that your kidneys are shutting down. Uremia is very dangerous and can lead to heart and brain failure. If your health care provider diagnoses you with uremia, he will begin to test for kidney function as a precaution.
Hypertension, high blood pressure, can be both a cause and a sign of kidney shutdown. Your kidneys require a healthy blood pressure to filter your blood. They release hormones that help maintain blood pressure. When they shutdown, blood pressure can rise. Even if they are healthy and something else causes the hypertension, high blood pressure can destroy the capillaries in the kidneys and cause renal shutdown. High blood pressure often goes hand in hand with kidney disease or failure, so your health care provider will be concerned about your kidneys if you have hypertension.