Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a health condition that most frequently occurs in under age 10 children. It is caused by toxic substances destroying red blood cells and platelets, which in turn have an effect on your kidneys.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is most often caused by bacterial toxins produced in the course of a gastrointestinal infection, particularly when infected with the E. coli strain O157:H7. Yet, this kidney failure health condition can originate from other bacteria caused gastrointestinal infections, i.e. shigella and salmonella.
Generally, the process that leads to kidney failure caused by hemolytic uremic syndrome commences with a severe bacterial toxin producing gastroenteritis. These bacterial toxins make their way into your blood stream and cause red blood cell, platelet and blood vessel damage. These damaged blood cells and platelets clog and form lesions in your kidney’s tiny blood vessels. And kidney failure results because of its inability to remove waste and extra fluid from your body.
Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome begin with typical gastrointestinal symptoms of severe abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea. Other symptoms that may be caused by your bacterial toxin involved gastrointestinal infection include:
Once the bacterial toxins that cause hemolytic uremic syndrome enter your blood stream you’ll likely experience some of these later symptoms:
- easy bruising
- anemia symptoms
- low or no urine output
- decreased consciousness
And your already serious health condition may further be complicated by:
- kidney failure
- hemolytic anemia
- nervous system issues
- various blood clotting problems
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a very serious health situation that can cause death, especially if your kidneys fail. Many recover the function of their kidneys with proper treatment, which may involve:
- blood & platelet transfusions
- blood plasma replacement to remove antibodies
Hemolytic uremic syndrome causes the majority of acute kidney failures in children. This once rare health condition is linked to undercooked ground beef contaminated with E. coli.
Adults are also known to be affected by hemolytic uremic syndrome because of this strain of E. coli or certain other health related circumstances.