What is kidney disease and how to treat it

Kidney-Disease

Kidney Disease – The Basics

Kidneys are an important set of organs which literally carry about the waste management system of the body. These organs have the basic function of filtering the extra water and waste, and converting it to urine which is let out of our body. So to say they actually do the ‘dirty work’, but the same work without which we ourselves would become dirty from the inside.

 

So it is obvious that keeping them working and disease-free is essential. Yet, there exist certain diseases that affect the kidneys.

Kidneys are said to be diseased if they fail do perform their basic function of filtering waste. This damage obviously will cause all the waste to accumulate in the body, causing furthermore problems. The main reasons for kidney diseases are:

  • High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common problems because of which kidney diseases are acquired
  • Cardiovascular diseases – related to heart and blood
  • Hereditary kidney failure problem

One major concern about kidney disease is that its early stages do not have any signs or symptoms. Hence many doctors suggest that regular urine and blood tests should be done after a particular age, as these are the only tests through which kidney diseases can be detected. Kidney diseases can be treated effectively if they are discovered in their earlier stages. Hence also the importance of the tests. Another important fact about kidney diseases is that once affected, the diseases generally cannot be completely cured. They can ultimately lead to kidney failure, the only solution of which is a transplant.

Types of Kidney Diseases

Basically two main types of kidney diseases exist – Acute and Chronic. Acute Kidney diseases are ones which come very quickly but equally fast is the recovery after treatment. They are most commonly caused by infection, injury, certain medical conditions, and certain medications.

polycystic-kidney-disease

Chronic Kidney diseases, on the other hand, are caused when the kidneys become damaged or dysfunctional for more than 3 months. These take place over 5 stages, the most serious of which is called as End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). Chronic kidney diseases are the most common type of kidney diseases.

Acute kidney diseases are normally caused by:

  • Injury or Infection of any kind
  • Any particular medical conditions
  • Any particular medicinal intake

Chronic kidney diseases are mainly caused by:

  • Any heart condition, or medical history of diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Any kidney disease that has been brought down through family medical history
  • Blockage of the urinary tract
  • A condition in which there is a reverse flow of urine from bladder to kidneys, called as Reflux Nephropathy
  • Inflammation and eventual damage of the filtering parts of the kidney, called as Glomerulonephritis
  • Intake of certain medicines over the years. This causes permanent damage to the kidneys

As mentioned before, High blood pressure, diabetes and hereditary kidney problems also lead to chronic kidney diseases. Disease caused due to hereditary problems is also called Polycystic kidney disease.

The best practice to know if you have kidney disease is therefore to go for regular tests.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

As mentioned earlier, there are hardly any symptoms observed for early stages of kidney diseases. The symptoms become stronger only when the disease becomes severe. However, there are some major symptoms which should not be neglected as they might be about one’s kidney. Following are the 10 most common symptoms of kidney disease:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Feeling Cold
  • Urination changes
  • Concentration problems and Dizziness
  • Leg/Flank Pain
  • Pain on the side or back
  • Swelling in the face, hands, legs, feet and/or ankles.
  • Fatigue
  • Ammonia Breath or Metallic Taste in the Mouth
  • Skin Rashes/Itching

Kidney Disease Treatment

Kidney diseases are best cured when they are detected in their earliest stages, which can only be done through regular medical tests. Hence regular tests of urine and blood are best to be done. This also involves careful management of blood pressure, reducing salt intake, avoiding junk food, avoiding habits like smoking and drinking and regular exercising.

In serious cases, as the kidneys start to become dysfunctional, doctors may suggest treatment plans based on tests. If the kidney disease is of chronic type and kidneys have completely failed, it is termed as end-stage renal failure (ESRF) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). As there is no cure for this yet, the only solutions that remain are of dialysis and kidney transplant.

Hello, my name is Stevan. And this is my blog. As a future doctor I am worried that a lot of people find out they are very ill when its too late already. With this site I want to help people find out what their symptoms mean and what to do next if they are related to kidney malfunction. Timely treatment of disease can save many lives.

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