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