All you need to know about kid­ney dis­ease

All you need to know about kid­ney dis­ease – causes, symp­toms, treat­ments and more…

Health & Nutrition - - CONTENTS -

Kid­neys, each about the size of a fist, play a ma­jor role in our well-be­ing. First, the kid­neys are mainly in­volved in re­mov­ing waste prod­ucts from the body; and pre­vent­ing tox­ins from build­ing up in the blood­stream. Se­condly, the kid­neys pro­duce hor­mones that take con­trol of the func­tions of the other parts of the body – for in­stance, reg­u­lat­ing blood pres­sure and pro­duc­ing red blood cells, and also reg­u­lat­ing the level of min­er­als and flu­ids in the body.

Types Of Kid­ney Dis­eases

Imag­ine the kid­neys get­ting into a non-func­tional mode. If this ever hap­pens, the waste prod­uct build-up is likely to cause some chem­i­cal im­bal­ance which is oth­er­wise re­quired for the smooth func­tion­ing of the body. Such dis­or­ders among oth­ers are pre­cisely termed as re­nal dis­eases. There are dif­fer­ent kinds of re­nal dis­eases, some even lead­ing to ESRD (end-stage re­nal dis­ease), a con­di­tion in which the kid­neys fail to work in a nor­mal way, with the pa­tient need­ing dial­y­sis or kid­ney trans­plant.

Causes

So what ex­actly causes these two lit­tle fist-sized or­gans to sud­denly go out of or­der? Kid­ney dis­eases are mostly caused due to di­a­betes, high blood pres­sure and har­den­ing of the ar­ter­ies. How­ever, some of these dis­eases can also oc­cur due to in­flam­ma­tion of the kid­neys. This con­di­tion is called nephri­tis. Some anatomic dis­or­ders too can lead to re­nal dis­eases be­sides the one re­sult­ing from meta­bolic dis­or­ders. The chances of the lat­ter hap­pen­ing how­ever are thin as meta­bolic kid­ney dis­or­ders are rare since they need to be in­her­ited from both par­ents. The other causes may as well in­clude block­age of the sys­tem or the med­i­ca­tions that are toxic to the kid­ney tis­sue.

symp­toms

Some very com­mon symp­toms, how­ever, are too much or too lit­tle urine, or pass­ing blood or ab­nor­mal lev­els of chem­i­cals in the urine. But if the dis­ease is caused by a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, the first sign is high fever. In case of mod­er­ate or mild kid­ney dis­eases, there are some­times no symp­toms at all. But to say that these do not cause any pain will be wrong. Kid­ney stones in the ureter are seen to cause some cramp­ing pain that spreads from the lower back into the groin. The dis­ease can lead to chronic or acute kid­ney fail­ure. While fail­ure of kid­neys in the for­mer hap­pens grad­u­ally, in the lat­ter it may hap­pen within a few hours or days. Both are life-threat­en­ing.

Di­ag­no­sis

The real prob­lem, how­ever, lies in the di­ag­no­sis of the dis­ease be­cause un­less there’s a tu­mour or the kid­neys are swollen, it be­comes dif­fi­cult for the doc­tors to check by sim­ply feel­ing the kid­neys. There are, how­ever, tests that check the kid­ney tis­sues. Urine sam­ples and checks for pro­tein, sugar, blood and ke­tones can also be done.

Treat­ment

When treat­ing the kid­ney, the doc­tors tend to con­cen­trate more on the un­der­ly­ing cause of the dis­ease. The in­fec­tions can be cured by an­tibi­otics if the in­fec­tion is caused by bac­te­ria. In case of acute kid­ney fail­ure, the blood pres­sure has first to be brought to nor­mal in or­der to evade any more pro­gres­sion of dis­ease. End-stage kid­ney fail­ures are only con­trolled by dial­y­sis or kid­ney trans­plant. Dial­y­sis can be done once a week or of­ten de­pend­ing on the con­di­tion. In case of trans­plant, the dis­eased one is re­placed by a new or healthy one. These trans­plants are said to work 80% of the time. The only fear in this case is what if the body re­jects the trans­plant. The risk, how­ever, is worth it be­cause a healthy kid­ney can help you live a bet­ter life.

If the dis­ease is caused by a bac­te­rial in­fec­tion, the first sign is high fever. In case of mod­er­ate or mild kid­ney dis­eases, there are some­times no symp­toms at all.

End-stage kid­ney fail­ures are only con­trolled by dial­y­sis or kid­ney trans­plant. Dial­y­sis can be done once a week or of­ten de­pend­ing on the con­di­tion.

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