What is Uremia?

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  • Written By: Stephany Seipel
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Uremia, also called prerenal atozemia, is a condition that occurs when the kidneys are unable to properly filter the blood. Patients who have uremia develop unhealthy amounts of nitrogen-based waste products in their bloodstream. Permanent kidney damage or other life-threatening complications can occur if the disorder is not identified and corrected within 24 hours of onset.

Creatinine is a waste material that forms when the body breaks down a compound called creatine. Creatine helps produce the energy that the body needs to contract the muscles. Urea, another waste product, forms when the body breaks down proteins. When the kidneys do not work correctly, these toxic substances can accumulate in the blood and body, damaging organs and tissues.

Patients who have uremia often suffer from symptoms such as dizziness, upset stomach and a lack of energy. As the disease progresses, individuals might also become easily confused or forget basic information. Some people lose weight because they have little or no appetite. They might urinate less frequently or not at all.

Some people who have this disorder suffer from a buildup of fluid in the lungs, and others have urine-smelling breath. Puffiness or swelling of the face, thighs or ankles also can occur. Some patients have a sallow, yellowish color to their skin. Other individuals develop a skin condition called uremic frost, where powdery white crystals of urea exit the body through the capillaries and accumulate on the surface of the skin.


A healthcare provider can diagnose uremia by performing specialized blood or urine tests. Blood area nitrogen tests help determine how well the kidneys are functioning by measuring the amount of waste nitrogen in the bloodstream, and creatinine tests measure the amount of creatinine in the body. The doctor might also perform a sodium urine test to see how much sodium is in the blood or urine.

Many individuals who have uremia need to be hospitalized. Doctors treat the condition with dialysis, a medical procedure in which a machine filters and purifies the blood. Medical practitioners might also make recommendations regarding dietary changes or prescribe medication to control the symptoms.

Patients who have uremia occasionally develop acute tubular necrosis, a condition in which the tissues in the kidneys become severely damaged. These patients might eventually develop acute kidney failure, a condition where the kidneys suddenly stop working. Other patients with uremia might have convulsions, heart failure or coma. Untreated uremia can be fatal.


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Post 2

@afterall- I knew someone who got really sick on a diet like that, for that reason. He was someone who needed to lose weight, but up until then had a very high-carbohydrate diet, though probably with adequate protein.

Suddenly he was cutting out those carbs, eating eggs or meat for many meals, and trying to add exercise as well. Running without carbs is not the best of plans, and so he was still exhausted. Then he started generally feeling sick, went to the doctor, and was told that he was consuming way too much protein for his body.

The recommended intake for most people is 1- 1.5 grams of protein per kilgram per day. This means that a woman who weighs 50 kilos (110 pounds) needs about 50-75 grams of protein, and a man who weighs 80 kilos (176 pound) needs 80-120 grams. The higher scale is also more for serious athletes than the rest of us.

Post 1

You don't have to already be sick to get uremia. My doctor and I discussed diet plans once, and he told me that there have been many cases of people developing either uremia or the early symptoms of potential uremia through high protein diets like the Atkins or South Beach, or even the currently popular one, Dukan. They are not natural diets and force your body to suddenly process far more protein than it is used to. This can cause many problems, including uremia or other kidney problems.

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