Uremia is a medical disorder characterized by excessive waste products and urea, which is a waste product of urine, in the blood. Symptoms include weakness, sore mouth, headache, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, loss of energy, and mental confusion.
There are a number of causes of uremia. Typically, urea builds up in the patient’s blood as the result of inefficiently operating kidneys, which usually results from either acute and chronic kidney failure. In either case, the inefficient kidneys fail to filter the blood appropriately, which causes an imbalance of electrolytes.
In addition to problems with the kidney, this condition may also be caused by specific lifestyle choices and certain types of trauma. A high protein diet or drug use, for example, can cause uremia. In addition, an increase in protein breakdown may occur from an infection, surgery, cancer, or trauma. This can also lead to uremia, as can gastrointestinal bleeding. Each of these potential causes make the liver produce excessive amounts of urea, which may present in the blood stream.
Uremia can also develop because urea is not eliminated from the body quickly enough. This can be caused by a blockage preventing urine from exiting the body. It may also be the result of decreased blood flow in the kidneys, which may be brought on by cardiac failure or hypotension.
Uremia is a potentially fatal condition that demands immediate treatment. Treatment options include kidney transplant, dialysis, and other treatments typically associated with kidney failure. In some cases, this condition may be alleviated by making specific dietary changes or by otherwise eliminating the underlying cause of the disorder. For example, the blockage in the urinary tract may be removed, or the patient may change his or her diet in order to address the hypotension or to reduce overall protein intake.
Through proper care and treatment addressing the underlying causes, it is possible to treat the disorder without invasive techniques. If these methods fail, however, invasive measures may be necessary in order to save the patient’s life.