Acute renal failure refers to the condition in which your kidneys have stopped working suddenly. When your kidneys stop working, waste products, fluids, and electrolytes are allowed to build up in your body, which may cause major health problems. There are three main causes of acute renal failure, a sudden drop in blood flow to the kidneys. This cause can be a result of an injury, extreme loss of blood or an infection called sepsis, which may reduce blood flow to the kidneys.
Just as not having enough fluids in the body (dehydration) can cause kidney problems. Damage to the kidneys caused by infections, poisons, and some medications. People who have long-term health problems and are having to continually take medications are more prone to have kidney problems resulting from medications, as well as infections. Some medications that have been shown to have these side effects are aspirin, ibuprofen, some blood pressure control medications, and certain antibiotics as well as dyes used to aid in x-rays. Lastly a sudden blockage that prevents urine from being removed from the kidneys can also result in acute renal failure. Sudden blockages can be caused by kidney stones and injuries as well as more severe conditions such as a tumor, or an enlarged prostate (in men).
Older adults that have long-term health conditions, such as liver or kidney disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, and obesity have a greater chance of developing acute renal failure. Patients who are already ill or have undergone heart or stomach surgery as well as bone marrow transplants have a greater chance of having kidney failure.
Some symptoms of acute renal failure may include the inability to urinate, excessive swelling in feet and legs, nausea or vomiting, as well as pain in the lower back just below the rib cage.