What is a kidney disease?
Kidney disease is also termed as renal disease or nephropathy. In this disease, damage occurs to the kidneys. An inflammatory disease of the kidney is known as nephritis and a non-inflammatory disease is termed as nephrosis. Kidney diseases usually cause some extent of kidney failure as per the stage level of the disease. In case of renal failure, kidney function declines to zero.
Each kidney present in the human body is of fist-size but they perform significant roles which are:
- Removal of the waste metabolic byproducts of the body and keeping the bloodstream free of toxins.
- Production of body hormones which controls functions like the production of RBCs (red blood cells) and controlling the blood pressure.
- Regulation of electrolytes in the body by maintaining salt and mineral levels. Mainly of sodium, calcium, potassium, and fluids.
Few symptoms of kidney disease:
Symptoms mainly depend on the type and stage of the kidney disease. If the disease is caused by bacterial infection symptom of fever is sure to appear. Any abnormality in the urine like of color odor or frequency or any granules or pain while passing urine might indicate some kidney stones. Sometimes in mild to moderate kidney disease, no significantly observable symptoms appear. In a disease like uremia when toxins accumulate in the body symptoms might include- high blood pressure, fatigue, SOB (shortness of breath), edema in hands, feet,
and eyes, nausea, vomiting, metallic taste in mouth, muscle twitching, cloudy or tea color urine, and itchy skin.
What are the different types of kidney diseases?
There are endless diagnoses of kidney diseases which exist today. However, quite a number of them are very common these days. Like acute or chronic renal disease, or many deformities of the kidney, kidney stones etc. Many diseases finally end up in end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is of kidney failure when all its functions seize to work. Renal failure patients reach out for dialysis or a kidney transplant for their survival. Since no damage to kidneys can be undone in this case by any therapy. However, there are several other kidney disease conditions like- nephrotoxicity induced by medications, abdominal compartment syndrome, acute lobar nephronia, acute tubular necrosis, etc.
Some kidney disorders might be linked up as early signs of chronic kidney disease (CKD). If early detected and treated it can further prevent the CKD and renal or kidney failure.
Some of the ways to detect kidney diseases are listed below in detail:
Blood in the urine- It is a clear sign that something is wrong with either the kidneys or urinary tract. Its cause needs to be analyzed by further doing more tests and physician must be contacted immediately to get the treatment.
In this disease accumulation of excess salts and minerals leads to the formation of crystalline masses which are termed as stones. They can occur anywhere in kidneys or in the ureter or bladder. Depending upon the size of the kidney stone its treatment is given. In this mild to severe shooting pain in lower back, side, and groin area occurs. However to avoid the formation of kidney stones animal protein, calcium, and oxalate-rich foods must be taken in a limit. Further antioxidant-rich fruits containing vitamin C like lemons, oranges, and berries etc. must be taken to avoid free radical formation and further disease deterioration.
Protein in urine-
It is one of the earliest symptoms of kidney disease. Protein is present in the blood and when the kidneys filter blood for waste products leaves nutrients like protein in the blood than the kidneys are working fine. However, if filters of the kidney get damaged than albumin which is a protein escapes from the blood into the urine indicating a kidney malfunction.
Kidney infections are mostly caused by the bacteria which spread from another part of the body but mainly from the urinary tract. These are more common in females than in males since urinary tract infections are more common in females than males. Treating the bacterial infection can further prevent the kidney damage. It causes fever, chills, and pain in groin and abdomen.
Acute kidney injury-
Acute kidney injury (AKI) makes the kidneys to stop working which can happen in a couple of hours or days. It is a serious life-threatening condition of the kidneys which if not treated immediately can be fatal. It mainly happens in patients with some underlying kidney diseases or problems or it can even happen as a result of a sudden injury or harm caused by some infection or medications.
Hepatitis C with the kidney disease-
Hep C is a type of viral infection caused in the liver. The liver is the detoxing organ of the body which removes all toxins and leaves nutrients for the body. It can trigger to cause a kidney disease. Also, Hep c can be received by a kidney failure patient during hemodialysis if certain measures are not taken properly. Either way, this dual combination is lethal.
Any kidney disease or problems might end up in acute or chronic kidney failure. Both are life-threatening conditions of the kidney. Acute kidney failure can happen all of a sudden within hours to days of time. On the other hand, chronic kidney failure occurs gradually taking its time from months to years usually. However acute kidney failure can be reversed to some extent only if the underlying cause is identified and treated correctly and the reverse is not possible in the case of chronic kidney failure. In both kidney conditions, slow shut down of the entire renal system happens.
Different causes of a kidney disease?
There are many causes for the renal or kidney disease which include diabetes, blood pressure, calcification of the arteries which damages blood vessels in the kidney, nephritis, an autoimmune reaction in which immune system of the body attacks the kidneys and damage them, anatomic or metabolic disorder of the kidneys which can be since birth, genetic disorders, few medications (specially analgesics and NSAIDs) when taken in excess causes renal problems-aspirin, paracetamol, naproxen, celecoxib, dehydration of the body due to less intake of water for long duration, excess calcium, oxalate and other pituitary gland disorder affecting the adrenal glands of the kidneys. Like the diseases are endless its causes are also endless. Any toxins or excess of substance burdening the kidney function might slowly turn up into a cause of kidney disease. So a proper diet must be followed to avoid any chances of developing renal function imbalance in the body.
Discuss the available treatments for the kidney diseases?
Treating the kidney disease directly depends on the type of disease diagnosed and what stage it is? Doctors take several tests and try to find out the main underlying case and as per that available surgery and medication are given to the patient. Like kidney infections are treatable with antibiotics. Immune reactions are difficult to treat and immunosuppressant like corticosteroids is used for that purpose. However, it is effective only few cases of nephritis in which inflammation of kidney occurs. Specific diet instructions to eat less salt and protein are given to few patients until their kidneys get back to their normal function.
Diuretics like lacilactone or spironolactone are also prescribed to the patients as water pills to help in removing excess water and decrease edema in the body. In acute renal failure cases of main cause is identified and treated kidneys can restore their functioning. In cases of the renal failure, blood pressure is controlled as a priority by medications to prevent further kidney damage also the damage done already cannot be undone in these cases.
In cases of end-stage renal failure- Dialysis or transplantation is required for the survival of the patient. Usually, transplant takes time as the matching donor finding job is not that simple and the person does not have that much time to wait so by the time things get done dialysis is taken into consideration as the only survival option. In hemodialysis, the blood of the human body is cleaned by passing it through a machine connecting through a tube and then clean blood is transferred back in the body via another tube. It is an inpatient procedure which is done in the hospital. In another peritoneal dialysis, in which cavity between body organs and the abdominal lining is filled with a cleaning solution to absorb all toxins which are then drained out of the body into a bag.