What is uremia? What causes uremia?

Uremia refers to a condition often associated with kidney failure characterized by abnormally high BUN (blood urea nitrogen) levels. Blood gets filtered at kidneys and the waste products are eliminated through urine. Due to kidney failure nitrogenous wastes resulting from protein metabolism accumulates in blood and causes high blood urea nitrogen levels. The condition can be reversed if proper treatment is sought at the earliest.

What are the symptoms of uremia?

The symptoms of uremia develop quickly. Common symptoms of uremia include,

  • Concentration problem
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Loss of weight
  • Heart problems
  • Dry, flaky and pale skin
  • Involuntary muscle jerks
  • Fatigue
  • Low BP
  • Breathing problem
  • Dry mouth and extreme thirst

How is uremia diagnosed?

Urine test, routine blood test, renal function examination and blood biochemical examination are used in diagnosing uremia.

How is uremia treated?

The first step to treat uremia is to restore blood pressure. Once that is done, the treatment continues with dialysis, medication or improved diet. The treatment also identifies the underlying cause of kidney failure which ultimately causes uremia. Bright’s disease, hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes mellitus can cause kidney failure. Apart from kidney failure, uremia can also be caused due to enlarged prostate and urinary track obstruction affecting the flow of urine. Uremia, if untreated can lead to deadly complications such as cardiac arrest, kidney failure and respiratory failure. The best way to treat uremia is dialysis. Kidney transplant is another option. Dialysis is not often preferred in elderly patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) or chronic renal failure.  The mortality rate associated with it is high and more over it doesn’t ensure quality life.

How much does it cost to treat uremia?

Kidney transplant and dialysis are the main treatments for uremia. In India, dialysis treatment costs around 2-3 lacks a year. The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) estimates the cost of kidney transplant at $262,000.

Is there any way to prevent uremia?

Preventive measures against uremia is unknown. Take necessary steps to keep yourself healthy and thereby reducing the chances of kidney failure.