External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is undergoing dialysis at AIIMS in New Delhi after suffering from a kidney failure. The minister said that she was undergoing tests for a possible kidney transplant. Swaraj, who took to Twitter to share the news with her followers, was admitted to AIIMS on November 7.Here’s what you need to know about kidney failure.

Kidney failure, also called renal failure, is a condition in which the kidneys become unable to remove or filter metabolic wastes from the blood.Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys stop functioning and this can happen rapidly within a few hours. If your kidneys fail, dangerous levels of waste can be built up in your body requiring intensive treatment, which includes dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Acute kidney failure or acute kidney injury is often reversible with adequate treatment, but chronic kidney disease is often not reversible.

Chronic kidney disease is usually caused by various health conditions that impair kidney function, causing damage to the kidneys.

Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. But some people are more susceptible than others to develop the disease. Following are some conditions and factors that increase your risk or lead to chronic kidney failure include:

High blood pressure
High blood cholesterol
Glomerulonephritis – an inflammation of the kidney’s filtering units (glomeruli).
A family history of kidney failure
Polycystic kidney disease – an inherited condition where growths called cysts develop in the kidneys
Prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract due enlarged prostate, kidney stones and some cancers
Long-term use of certain medicines such as such as lithium and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Older age – 60 years or above
Unfortunately, there’s no cure for kidney failure, however, besides treatment a whole food, plant-based diet may help some people with the disease.