When the kidneys cannot sufficiently rid the body of nitrogen waste, a condition called azotemia can develop. Nitrogen is an essential chemical that helps the body make amino acids, the building blocks of protein, and nucleic acids, components of DNA and RNA. In a healthy system, the chemical does its work, and then the kidneys remove it. When nitrogen remains in the body, the effects are life-threatening.
If the kidneys receive too little blood, they cannot filter blood properly, leading to serum waste accumulation. Prerenal azotemia occurs when blood flow is slowed. This issue causes a malfunction of kidney filtration processes and leads to excessive levels of serum nitrogen. One common cause of prerenal azotemia is dehydration, which thickens the blood and strains the kidneys.
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