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kidney failure

There are 2 kidneys on either side of the spine, each about the size of a fist.  A major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluids from the body.  These waste products and fluids are removed through the urine.  The critical regulation of the body's salt, potassium and acid content is performed by the kidneys.  They also produce hormones that affect the function of other organs.  The kidneys also:


  • remove drugs from the body
  • balance the body's fluids
  • release hormones that regulate blood pressure
  • produce a form of Vitamin D that promotes strong bones
  • control the production of red blood cells

Symptoms may include:


  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • urinating less than normal
  • awaking at night to urinate
  • loss of appetite
  • drowsiness
  • seizures

Treatment may include:



Types of kidney failure include:


  • acute – person’s kidney’s stop working as a result of exposure to toxic agents, an immune reaction to a drug, or the result of an infection or disease that affects the kidneys
  • chronic – usually caused by diabetes, or other diseases/infections that affect the kidneys.  Overuse of drugs containing heavy metals may also lead to chronic kidney failure
  • end-stage – most advanced form of kidney failure, kidneys can no longer function

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Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton Hamilton. Phone: 609-586-7900 Physician Referral: 609-584-5900.

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