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ACUTE KIDNEY INJURY: Important Information

Acute Kidney Injury Advice
If you have been diagnosed with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Talk to your doctor!


Acute Kidney injury (AKI) is a swift and sudden decrease in kidney function over a short period of time such as days or even hours.  It is otherwise known as acute renal failure (ARF).

  • 31% of the Persons with AKI discharged from the hospital develop CKD chronic kidney within the first year after the discharge from hospital.
  • The risk of AKI increases with
  1. Increasing Age
  2. Black/African American Race
  3. Diabetes
  4. Previous CKD (chronic kidney disease)
  • Many people who have had AKI do not know that they had AKI.
  • The risk of getting AKI again increases after the first episodes of AKI (Hazard ratio 8.6)
  • There are many over-the counter medications which can cause AKI
  • AKI is preventable in some cases

If you were diagnosed with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) there are some important things you need to know.

  • If you have been diagnosed with Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) Talk to your doctor whi has important information about your specific blood tests and condition.
  • AKI is a condition which causes damage to the kidneys and therefore causes your kidney function to decrease. However, your kidneys were able to recover after being damaged.
  • Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a serious condition which is more common than we realize and lately it is even more common due to COVID-19 infection which is estimated to cause AKI in approximately 56% of those hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • After a diagnosis of AKI, even if your kidney function has recovered, the fact that you had AKI means that you will be at greater risk of developing AKI again and you will also be at a greater risk of developing serious condition called chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end stage renal (kidney) disease [ESRD/ESKD) in the future.

In order to help prevent these conditions from developing there are a number of things that you can do to protect your kidneys and remain healthy.

If you have only one kidney, these recommendations are even more important:

  • Follow your doctor’s advice: keep appointments and visit the lab when instructed to do so for monitoring of your kidney function
  • Keep a healthy blood pressure; keep a healthy diet and exercise to prevent diabetes; if you already have hypertension (high blood pressure) or Diabetes: please take your medication as prescribed and keep your appointments
  • Avoid all herbal supplements as they may contain substances that can damage your kidneys
  • Avoid NSAIDs for example ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac: brand names include aleve, motrin, advil, Naprosyn
  • Avoid the acid reflux/heartburn medicines called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for example nexium, pantecta, prilosec: other names by which these are known are: pantoprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole
  • Avoid over the counter cough and cold remedies which contain decongestants which may harm your kidneys or increase your blood pressure
  • Limit the salt in your diet: the AAKP nutrition counter is a very helpful way to achieve this while still eating tasty meals and it is available for free in English and Spanish!
  • Remain hydrated: drink fluids until you are no longer thirsty: speak to your physician regarding the safest maximum amount of fluid or water you can drink in one day according to your current kidney function
  • If you develop food poisoning with excessive vomiting or diarrhea, please inform your doctor as your kidneys are dehydration can be harmful to the kidneys

Contact your doctor if:

  1. You have difficulty passing urine or if the amount of your urine becomes less than usual
  2. You have pain while passing urine
  3. The color of your urine changes to red, brown or cloudy or if it becomes smelly
  4. You develop swelling of the feet or legs
  5. You develop a frothy urine or bubbly urine
  6. You developed diarrhea or nausea or vomiting
  7. You develop food poisoning

Remember to Talk to Your Doctor & Avoid Things that Can Hurt Your Kidneys

Be informed about your kidneys and how to protect them by reading more about kidney health here on our site!

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