What Is Uremia?
Uremia, or uremic syndrome, is a serious condition in which urine enters your bloodstream rather than being excreted from your body. It occurs when your kidneys are injured or damaged and can’t effectively filter and remove waste.
When you have uremia, toxins such as creatinine and urea build up in your bloodstream. This is a symptom of renal (kidney) failure. If untreated, it is life-threatening.
Causes of kidney damage or uremia can include:
- Medications, such as high-dose NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Kidney injury
- High blood pressure
- Kidney infections
- Kidney stones that block the urinary tract
- Urinary tract disorders
- Bladder cancer
- Enlarged prostate
- Cardiovascular problems (heart and blood vessels)
- Gastrointestinal tract disorders such as vomiting, diarrhea or severe dehydration
- Certain conditions such as autoimmune disorders or traumatic injury
Symptoms of uremia indicate that your kidneys are already damaged – usually from chronic kidney disease. Uremia symptoms may include:
- Drowsiness or fatigue
- Leg cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea or vomiting
- Trouble concentrating
If you have developed uremia, your kidneys are extremely damaged. Treatment of uremia requires regular dialysis – a procedure that removes wastes, fluids and toxins from your bloodstream.
Types of dialysis include:
- Hemodialysis – A machine is used to remove toxins from your blood.
- Peritoneal dialysis – A catheter (tube) is inserted into your abdomen. Dialysis fluid fills your abdomen, absorbing waste and extra fluid. The fluid removes wastes when it drains out.
A kidney transplant may be an option if you have end-stage renal failure. Surgeons implant a healthy kidney from a living or deceased donor. You’ll need anti-rejection medication for life to keep your body from rejecting the new kidney.
Ready for an Appointment?
If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of uremia, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.
Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat uremia.