What To Know About Acute Kidney Injury

Iowa Kidney Physicians, P.C. are here for you in Des Moines, IA, when your kidneys aren't functioning properly due to disease or injury. Our dedicated team of skilled providers works with you to diagnose and treat a whole range of kidney problems. Keep reading about acute kidney injury and come see us if you have any concerns about the health of your kidneys.

What is acute kidney injury?

Acute kidney injury or AKI is defined by a sudden loss of excretory kidney function that happens quickly over the course of a few hours. This means that the kidneys suddenly can't filter out waste from the blood. Symptoms can be subtle or severe, but include:

  • Unable to urinate (too little urine leaving the body if you try)
  • Swelling in the legs, ankles, and around the eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Seizures or coma (in severe cases)

These are all signs you should see a doctor about acute kidney injury, but some patients have no symptoms and are unaware until their doctor finds it in another test, so don't hesitate to contact us if you think a symptom could be AKI.

What should you do?

Your doctor will run blood and urine tests to confirm acute kidney injury in Des Moines, IA. The rapid failure of the kidneys can be caused by many things including physical damage to the kidneys caused by disease or injury, or an infection. AKI typically requires a hospital stay for recovery. Dialysis is typically only required in severe cases, to let your kidneys recover for a longer period.

What else should I know?

Acute Kidney Injury in Des Moines, IA, is most common in patients who are hospitalized and in the elderly. After having AKI, you have a higher chance of other health problems like kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, or having AKI again in the future. Every time you have AKI, the chances of developing kidney disease and kidney failure increase.

Iowa Kidney Physicians, P.C. help patients in Des Moines, IA, recover from and manage kidney problems. To make an appointment, contact our Methodist Plaza location at (515) 336-6557, and our Riverpoint location at (515) 243-3161.