Is kidney failure considered a terminal illness?

Kidney failure is one of the most serious conditions that can affect the human body. And it’s not hard to see why: your kidneys are responsible for filtering waste products out of your blood, regulating your body’s fluid levels, and producing hormones that help regulate blood pressure and promote healthy bone growth.

But what happens when these vital organs start to fail? Many people wonder if kidney failure is considered a terminal illness – in other words, an illness that will eventually lead to death. In this article, we’ll explore this question and take a closer look at what kidney failure actually means for those who experience it.

What Is Kidney Failure?

Before we dive into the topic of whether or not kidney failure is terminal, let’s first define exactly what we mean by “kidney failure”.

At its simplest definition, kidney failure occurs when your kidneys stop functioning properly. There are two types of kidney failure: acute and chronic.

Acute kidney injury (AKI) occurs suddenly – often as a result of another medical condition such as dehydration or infection – and can be reversed with proper treatment.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), on the other hand, develops slowly over time due to prolonged damage to the kidneys. This type of kidney disease cannot be cured but can be managed through treatment options like dialysis or organ transplantation.

Can Kidney Failure Be Fatal?

The short answer here is yes; in some cases, advanced stages of CKD can become fatal if left untreated. But it’s important to remember that there are many factors involved in determining whether or not someone with CKD will ultimately pass away from their condition.

A few examples include:

  • The severity and progression rate of their particular case
  • Whether they have access to proper medical care
  • If they have underlying health conditions that could exacerbate their symptoms

Additionally (and perhaps more importantly), many lifestyle factors come into play when it comes to predicting the outcomes of kidney disease. Not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and regularly exercising can all help slow down the progression of CKD.

What Are The Symptoms of Kidney Failure?

If you suspect that you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms related to kidney problems, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. Some common symptoms associated with chronic or acute kidney disease may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swelling in your hands, feet or legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion or difficulty concentrating

Of course (to make matters worse) these symptoms aren’t always specific to kidney failure alone – many other conditions share similar signs. That means if you have any concerns at all about the state of your health , resulting from one symptom mentioned above or otherwise – go see a doctor ASAP!

How Is Kidney Failure Diagnosed?

To begin understanding whether an individual is suffering from any kind renal issues that could prove concerning enough for kidneys going bonkers; doctors will usually start by performing various tests on their patient’s urine and blood samples.

Common laboratory tests used in diagnosing CKD include:


A simple test done with patient’s urine sample which checks for abnormalities typically indicating waste products often not found in pee.

Blood Test

Doctors need these fluctuating levels examined as well; creatinine reflects how well his/her kidneys are filtering stuff outta he/she blood.

Both tests would give insight into different aspects concerned with renal functionality but take note! They should never be administered without extensive consultation from trusted physicians who have had years practising clinical medicine.

How Is Kidney Failure Treated?

There are several treatment options available depending on what stage your particular case has progressed to (in addition just genetic history between family members):


Some medications, like ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers, can help lower blood pressure and slow down the progression of CKD.


In cases where the kidneys are no longer able to function properly or aren’t due to some medical issue that makes it harder for them; dialyzing may become necessary. This means passing patient’s blood through a machine which mimics renal functions

Kidney Transplantation

For those patients in whom non-surgical treatment methods do not yield successful results; receiving kidney transplants is another option.

It’s important to note (here as well) that none of these treatments comes with a guaranteed quick fix – all will require extended convalescence time.

Conclusion: Is Kidney Failure Considered A Terminal Illness?

So back at square one we were trying work out whether or not kidney failure was considered terminal illness however though it would seem difficult to reach an answer (well yes!); there are certain ample information known we’ve gathered from sources indicating that yes, often folks die because their kidneys just couldn’t hack-it any more 😧 but many factors can impact how long they’re those folks left with including severity rate of condition + lifestyle choices made post diagnosis.
Remember if you have any concerns about your overall health consult medical professionals ASAP (& be cautious what search engines say)!