Renal impairment and renal failure are both serious health problems, though each presents itself in ways that can distinguish one from the other. Renal impairment denotes the kidney’s inability to perform its job. This situation can occur for a number of reasons, including the introduction of something into the blood that the kidney cannot expel from a person’s system. Several of these foreign substances are traceable while in the bloodstream, which can provide a fairly accurate estimation of how much renal impairment a patient has suffered.
Renal failure usually describes patients with a progressive renal disease, or who have experienced a serious injury, and whose renal functions are at 50 percent or less. Another term tied to renal failure is “end stage renal disease,” a condition where the kidneys have failed completely and dialysis or a transplant is necessary for the patient’s survival.
The symptoms of early kidney disease manifest themselves differently from person to person. Many people feel no discomfort at the onset of the disease. However, as the underlying renal problem continues to persist, many patients become acutely aware that something is wrong. Finding renal problems early gives the best chance for a cure.