Is Kidney Damage Reversible: Can Kidney Failure Be Reversed

As per available information, kidney disease is one of the ninth most common causes of death in the United States. There are more than 100 different disorders and disease which affect the kidney and can result in subsequent renal destruction. Often kidney disorders are not associated with any form of symptoms.

Hypertension and diabetes are considered to be the most common factors responsible for renal damage. Kidneys play a crucial role in filtering the blood and also participate in regulating the internal fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. Impairment of renal functions, especially in conditions like end stage renal disorders may result in life threatening situations.

Can Kidney Damage Be Reversed?

There are several conditions that may result in kidney disorders. Some of the 54 conditions that cause kidney damage don’t have long term consequences and are easily reversible while other conditions are associated with permanent kidney damage.

Some of the factors associated with reversible kidney damage include,

  • Obstruction: Obstruction of the renal system including the ureter or urethra due to a renal stone or a stricture is often reversible. Obstruction results in regurgitation of urine into the kidney resulting in a condition referred to as hydro-nephrosis. Often when the obstruction is removed, the kidney functions are restored to full capacity.
  • Inflammation or Urinary Infection: Urinary tract infection results in the inflammation of the linings of the renal system. When the condition affects the kidney, it is referred to as glomerulonephritis. Often inflammation is associated with autoimmune disorders which result in damage and destruction of the glomeruli (i.e. the small sac like components of the kidney). This condition is associated with partial or complete recovery, depending upon the severity of the condition.
  • Dehydration and Renal Damage: Dehydration often results in significant renal damage. Lack of fluids in the body tends to interfere with the kidneys ability to function optimally.
  • Pressure on the kidneys, either due to enlargement of a particular organ, benign or malignant growth in surrounding organs can also result in renal damage. The recovery in this case depends upon the extent of the damage and is often irreversible if fibrosis takes place.

Can You Reverse Kidney Failure?

Renal failure in general is a serious medical condition which is associated with inappropriate functioning of the kidneys. Renal failure may be a progressive disorder or a temporary disorder which can be treated effectively using various treatment options.

Renal failures can be classified under two categories namely acute and chronic renal failure. Acute renal failure is of sudden onset and is associated with some underlying factor like dehydration, serious injury to the kidney, abuse of certain over the counter medications, etc. Acute renal failure has no lasting effects and is reversible.

On the other hand, chronic renal failure is a more complicated disease. The symptoms of chronic renal failure are often not very apparent until the damage is extreme. Chronic renal failure is often associated with other long term conditions like hypertension and diabetes. Chronic renal failure is a progressive disorder and the damage caused to the kidneys in this condition is often irreversible.

Though the damage associated with chronic renal failure is irreversible, an individual with the condition tends to have a normal life span provided the primary disease condition is treated adequately. In individuals with complete renal damage, there is an option for renal transplants or regular dialysis, which helps remove the toxins from the blood and prevents premature death.