Definition of Uremia

uremiaUremia is a serious condition in which nitrogenbased toxins such as urea and creatinine, the primary waste products of metabolism, accumulate in the blood because the kidneys are unable to filter them out and pass them from the body via the urine.

Uremia indicates renal failure.

Urologists sometimes use the term azotemia to designate preclinical uremia-that is, rising levels of urea in the blood that have not yet reached a level at which they cause symptoms.

Symptoms

Symptoms of uremia include

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy and difficulty concentrating

Diagnosis and Treatment

Blood and urine tests to measure levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment is generally renal dialysis to filter metabolic wastes and toxins from the blood, to restore the body’s electrolyte, chemical, and water balances. Kidney transplantation may be a viable treatment option when kidney failure becomes permanent, such as in end-stage renal disease (esrd).

See also NEPHROPATHY; NEPHROTOXINS.

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