This article on Epainassist.com has been reviewed by a medical professional, as well as checked for facts, to assure the readers the best possible accuracy.

We follow a strict editorial policy and we have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any level of plagiarism. Our articles are resourced from reputable online pages. This article may contains scientific references. The numbers in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.

The feedback link “Was this Article Helpful” on this page can be used to report content that is not accurate, up-to-date or questionable in any manner.

This article does not provide medical advice.


Is Kidney Failure Reversible?

There are two types of kidney failure, acute and chronic. Whether the kidney failure is reversible or not, depends on the type of the failure one has. Having a kidney failure means that the kidneys are not able perform their vital functions, like filtering and eliminating the excess salt, fluid and waste from the blood.

What usually happens is these toxins reach the bladder to exit the body via urine. However, in kidney failure, the kidneys are not able to perform their job efficiently or cannot do anything at all leading to accumulation of toxins in the body and this causes various fatal health issues.

Kidney failure that occurs suddenly is known as acute kidney failure and the one which develops gradually as a result of chronic kidney disease is chronic kidney failure. The damage to the kidney is not reversible; however, in case of acute kidney failure, it can usually be reversed.

What’s the Difference between Chronic Kidney Failure and Acute Kidney Failure?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), healthy kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood within the body every half-an-hour (1). When the kidneys are not able to function properly, then it leads to many problems. The cause could be chronic kidney failure and acute kidney failure.

Acute kidney failure is when there is abrupt loss of all kidney function in few hours or days. There are different causes for acute kidney failure, such as: dehydration, septic shock, blood loss, pregnancy complications, burns, certain medications and urinary tract blockage.

Chronic kidney disease causes chronic kidney failure and it occurs slowly over a period of time, as the damage to the kidneys occurs. With the worsening of the damage, the kidneys gradually stop or decline in their ability to filter the toxins from the blood resulting in accumulation of dangerous levels in the body. This then increases the risk for other health condition, such as stroke and heart disease and with the eventual result being that the kidneys stop working needing dialysis or a kidney transplant (1).

Can Acute Kidney Failure Be Reversed?

Yes, it is possible to reverse acute kidney failure provided that quick treatment is done in a hospital setting (2); however, the patient may need to go on dialysis until the underlying cause of the kidney failure is discovered, so the treatment can be done. With the right diagnosis and treatment, the kidneys can start to function again in some few weeks to months (3). There are some cases of kidney failure, where the recovery of the function of the kidneys is not possible and the patient will need indefinite dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Is it Possible to Reverse Chronic Kidney Failure?

It is not technically possible to reverse chronic kidney failure; however, one can halt or delay the progression of chronic kidney disease with lifestyle changes and medications. Diabetes and hypertension are the two primary causes of chronic kidney disease, so, it is important to keep the blood glucose and blood pressure in the target range for optimal kidney health (4).

Other things for improving the health of the kidneys are:

  • Being more active.
  • Maintaining a moderate weight.
  • Taking medications on time as directed by the doctor.
  • Consuming a balanced diet which is less in salt.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Always keeping the cholesterol levels in the target range.
  • And getting regular checkups.

What are the Symptoms of Kidney Failure?

The symptoms of kidney failure always develop gradually, so the initial signs of kidney failure may not be prominent at first. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), as there is worsening of the kidney function, the patient will develop the following symptoms (5):

  • Having little or no urine output.
  • Swelling or edema in your ankles, legs or feet.
  • Getting headaches.
  • Feeling sick to your stomach, losing weight and not feeling hungry.
  • Having muscle weakness or cramps.
  • Feeling tired, but not getting good sleep.
  • Having itchiness.
  • Feeling disorientated or confused.
  • Experiencing stiffness, pain or fluid in the joints.

What is the Prognosis of Individuals Having Kidney Failure?

The prognosis of kidney failure depends on different factors. In case of acute kidney failure, the recovery is determined by the cause of the kidney failure. If the cause can be reversed, then the prognosis is good and complete recovery is possible. It is also possible that individuals with acute kidney failure will only regain partial kidney function. All the patients of acute kidney failure are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease in the future.

Chronic kidney failure is also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD) with higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease. People suffering from ESRD are on dialysis and also are 10 to 30 times susceptible to die from cardiovascular disease than compared to the rest (6).

However, the life expectancy of the patient with kidney failure also depends on different health factors of the patient.

Is it Possible for the Kidneys to Repair Themselves?

No, it is not possible for the kidneys to repair after suffering from damage. However, depending on the cause, acute kidney failure can be reversible, which means that after the underlying cause has been treated, the chances are good for the kidneys to regain their complete function.

The damage to the kidneys cannot be reversed; however, the progression of the chronic kidney disease can be slowed with the help of lifestyle changes and medications.

How Long Can A Patient Live With Kidney Failure?

This depends on the type of kidney failure if it is chronic or acute kidney failure. Patients suffering from acute kidney failure can achieve complete recovery. For patients with chronic kidney failure, their life expectancy depends on various health factors. 


It is possible to reverse acute kidney in some cases, however, it also depends what is causing the failure. It is not possible to reverse chronic kidney failure; however, chronic kidney disease can be treated and the progression can be slowed with lifestyle changes and the use of medications.

As the primary causes for kidney failure are high blood sugar and high blood pressure, so it is important to consult your doctor in case of having any symptoms of kidney disease, more so if you are suffering from the above conditions, which should be kept in check always.


Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 13, 2024

Recent Posts

Related Posts