When it comes to the kidneys, the conditions you can have are endless. Kidney stones, renal failure, and hypertension are just a few. You may know that the kidneys clean the blood, but what you may not know is that it helps to control blood pressure and a host of other things. When the kidneys begin to fail, you are in trouble. There are several reasons for kidney problems. If you do not have any kidney problems, you should be grateful. But you can do a lot of things now to prevent yourself from having kidney issues later in life. If you take care of your kidneys now, they will take care of you.
We have two kidneys in our body. They lie in the back of the abdomen. For this reason, if you have kidney problems, your back tends to hurt. The kidneys are about the size of your fist. The kidneys are attached to the ureters which are connected to the bladder; as the blood gets filtered, it goes into the bladder for the purpose of expelling waste. The renal arteries are connected to the kidneys. There is one renal vein and renal artery connected to each kidney. The blood flows through the renal arteries into the kidney gets filtered, balances electrolytes and fluids and urine is created. The now filtered blood goes back through the vein up to the heart. These kidney cells are called nephrons; when the cells are filtering correctly, the kidneys are working efficiently. Sometimes the kidneys begin to lose function, and you don’t notice it right away. The kidneys can function at 10% before you begin to see symptoms of kidney damage.
Kidney Conditions Most Commonly Treated
- Kidney Stones – Crystal minerals that create stones that can block urine
- Kidney Cancer – Cancerous tumors that affect the kidneys
- Chronic Renal Failure – Loss of kidney function due to the renal arteries
- Pyelonephritis – Infection of the kidneys
- Glomerulonephritis – Attack on the kidneys by the immune system
- Proteinuria – Kidney damage leading to large amounts of protein in the urine
- Renal Cysts – Hollowed space in the kidney
- Hypertension – Kidney damage caused by high blood pressure. A disturbance in the renal artery may also cause uncontrollable hypertension
- Electrolyte Disturbances – Electrolyte imbalance as a result of renal failure, leading to anemia and bone diseases
Risk Factors for Kidney Diseases
There are several risk factors for kidney disease. Abuse of drugs and alcohol is a common problem. The more you continue to drink and use drugs, the kidneys lose the ability to filter these things out of the blood. The nephrons in the kidneys become damaged and lose their ability to function. Injuries to the kidneys may also cause problems. Getting hit in the back too hard can cause bruising and damage to the kidneys. Diet has a significant impact on the kidneys. Diet affects the arteries. The arteries begin to harden and narrow. When this happens, the kidneys do not get enough blood. The kidneys notice this as having a low blood pressure. The kidneys trigger an increase in blood pressure that is sometimes very hard to control. When things are not addressed right away, it can cause imbalances all over the body that can be life-threatening.
Diagnosis of Kidney Problems
Multiple things can be done to diagnosis kidney conditions. A urinalysis is a great place to start. Through the urine, a doctor can diagnose a lot of things. They will notice extra protein, electrolytes, and even bacteria.
A kidney ultrasound is usually ordered and helpful in the diagnosis of your condition. An ultrasound reveals a lot of things in the kidneys. Cysts and kidney stones are two things that are seen on an ultrasound. CT scans and MRI scans are also great diagnostic tools. Sometimes a tube is used to see inside the kidney. Finally, a kidney biopsy can be done to remove tissue and tumors on the kidneys.
There are several treatments for kidney problems. If you have kidney stones, the physician may decide to remove the kidney stones right away. Dialysis is an excellent treatment for kidney failure. You can do hemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. The doctor will decide which type of dialysis is best for you. Kidney transplants are also necessary when both kidneys are not functioning properly, and you are having symptoms.
The kidneys are an important part of overall function and health of the body. There are many different conditions you can have as it pertains to the kidneys. The kidneys are connected to veins, arteries, and the bladder. The purpose of the kidneys is to filter and clean the blood. When the kidneys are not doing their job, treatment is necessary. Anytime there are malfunctions of the kidney, and you experience symptoms, get the treatment you need right away.
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