Uremia

Uremia is a pathological condition that occurs when our kidneys become damaged. Toxins and organic waste products such as urea and creatinine end up in the bloodstream, posing a great danger to the body. Moreover, elevated concentrations of urea in the blood also lead to other imbalances associated with hormones, electrolytes, fluids and many metabolic irregularities.


For this reason, urea can be life-threatening and a significant indicator of renal failure. It could also lead to chronic kidney disease.


Let’s learn more about uremia signs and symptoms.


Uremia Symptoms

In the beginning, chronic kidney disease may not show any symptoms at all. However, by the time the body begins to show signs of uremia, the kidneys are already acutely damaged. Uremia may cause an individual to show some very troublesome symptoms. These are –

  • Nausea or vomiting.

  • Headaches.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Extreme fatigue.

  • Cramps in various body parts.

  • Inability to concentrate.


What is Renal or Kidney Failure?

Kidneys help the body to get rid of unwanted waste materials that are by-products of metabolism. Urea is a very significant by-product of metabolism. Our kidneys help to filter out the unwanted waste from the bloodstream and then send it to the bladder and through the ureter for excretion.


Consequently, when the kidneys fail to do so, the waste materials accumulate in the bloodstream leading to azotaemia.


By and large, when the kidneys are damaged enough to create symptoms, azotemia finally leads to uremia. This can trigger a series of hypoglycemic reactions that can cause diabetes, and if proper treatment and medication are not administered, the body could suffer serious harm.


Rack Your Brains: Ask your teacher or look up the Internet for what is uremia. Look for symptoms and case studies. Then write them down in your notebook.


Pop Quiz 1

  1. Which of these are uremia symptoms?

  1. Extreme fatigue

  2. Nausea

  3. Loss of vision

  4. Both (a) and (b)


Uremia Causes

Extreme and irreversible damage to the kidneys, such as chronic kidney disease usually causes uremia. As a result, the kidneys malfunction and are no longer able to filter out waste from the body’s metabolism and excrete them through urine. The waste soon accumulates in the bloodstream, leading to a life-threatening situation.

There are many factors that cause chronic kidney disease and subsequent uremia. For instance, a person with high blood pressure could experience renal and kidney failure. Some other causes are:

  • Recurring kidney infections.

  • Stones in the kidney that cause blockage in the urinary tract for a long span of time.

  • Cancer.

  • An enlarged prostate gland.

  • Inflammation of tubules in the kidney and surrounding structures.

  • Inflammation of glomeruli, the filtering units in the kidneys.

  • Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes.

  • Polycystic kidney disease.

Revise what you have learnt so far with the following quiz.


Pop Quiz 2

  1. Which of these can cause uremia?

  1. Lactic acid production.

  2. Heartburn.

  3. Enlarged prostate gland.

  4. None of the above.


Uremia Treatment

By the time an individual experiences symptoms of uremia, the kidneys are already extensively damaged. The primary treatment for uremia is dialysis. Dialysis removes waste substances, toxins such as creatinine and extra fluids from the blood, which is otherwise done by the kidneys. Mainly, there are two kinds of dialysis. These are –

  • Peritoneal Dialysis: In peritoneal dialysis, a small tube called a catheter is inserted into the abdomen of a uremic individual. A fluid is filled into the abdomen. It absorbs all the extra waste and unwanted fluids. Eventually, the residues are removed from the body, and they are drained out.

  • Haemodialysis: In this technique, a machine is employed to remove the waste from the bloodstream.

One can also undergo a kidney transplant if the kidneys are too damaged for dialysis. This is called the end-stage of renal failure. In a kidney transplant, a healthy kidney is obtained from a willing donor and then transplanted into the diseased individual’s body. 


Regenerative medicine, currently a field of much research, is also a viable option to deal with damaged kidneys. This process uses cells from other parts of the body to help heal the kidneys.


In conclusion, kidney or renal failure caused by uremia can be prevented in several ways. For example, taking active steps to control diabetes and ensure good cardiovascular health is a good way to avoid kidney failure. Eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and keeping healthy blood pressure are also some ways to prevent uremia and renal failure.


For more on uremia and related disorders, check out our collection of expertly-curated revision notes and reference material. You can also install the Vedantu app to participate in online live classes.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is the Definition of Uremia?

Ans. Uremia is a clinical condition that occurs when our kidneys become damaged. Toxins and organic waste products such as urea and creatinine end up in the bloodstream, posing a great danger to the body.

2. What are some Uremia Symptoms?

Ans. Few symptoms of uremia are:

  • Nausea or vomiting.

  • Headaches.

  • Loss of appetite.

3. What are the main Causes of Uremia?

Ans. Some causes of uremia are:

  • Recurring kidney infections.

  • Stones in the kidney that cause blockage in the urinary tract for a long span of time.

  • Cancer.

  • An enlarged prostate gland.

  • Inflammation of tubules in the kidney and surrounding structures.

  • Inflammation of glomeruli, the filtering units in the kidneys.