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What Are The Most Common Kidney Diseases?

What Are The Most Common Kidney Diseases

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), kidney diseases are common problems and are among the leading causes of mortality in the region of the Americas. In addition, they are responsible for a marked deterioration in the quality of life of many people.

The kidneys are two organs the size of a fist, located on the upper abdomen, near the back. There’s one on either side of the spine. Its main function is to filter waste from the blood and remove excess water through urine. They also regulate pH, sodium, and potassium, and produce hormones.

However, when these bodies are affected, their ability to perform these functions is compromised. The worst consequence is kidney failure or failure, which may require complex treatments, such as dialysis.

Diseases that can affect the kidneys are varied. Then we explore the most frequent 8.

1. Urinary infections

Urinary tract infections or UTIs are a very common problem. They can be located in any of the structures that make up the urine excretory apparatus.

In general, they are caused by bacteria and are more common in the bladder and urethra. There they are called cystitis and arthritis, respectively. These scenarios are in pain when urinating, frequent need to go to the bathroom, fever, and discomfort in the lower abdomen.

However, some UTIs settle in the kidneys. This is the case with so-called pyelonephritis.

It usually happens that untreated or treated with incorrect antibiotic cystitis is complicated by skinonefritis. The bacteria present in the bladder ascend to the kidneys, colonize there, and multiply. Less often, microorganisms may also reach these organs from the blood or after kidney surgery that accidentally inoculated them.

Symptoms of a kidney infection are as follows:

It is crucial to seek medical attention if these symptoms are experienced. Kidney infections can lead to serious complications, such as insufficiency. Fortunately, antibiotic treatment is often effective.

2. Chronic renal disease (CHD)

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a disorder that compromises the ability of the kidneys to filter blood. This condition, which affects approximately 37 million adults in the United States alone, is progressing slowly and goes through different stages.

Diabetes is the most common cause of CKD. Then, second, we have high blood pressure. Increased blood sugar or high and persistent stress figures damage glomeruli, which are the small structures where the blood filters.

Heart disease and genetic conditions, such as renal polycystosis, can also trigger the problem.

Often, the initial stages of CKD are asymptomatic, making it difficult to detect early. However, as progress, some worrying symptoms may occur, including the following:

With the progress of the problem, the kidneys evolve into the clinical picture of chronic renal failure. In these cases, the person requires dialysis, a treatment that uses special machinery to filter excess fluid and blood waste, as would the organs that do not work now.

Dialysis may help in kidney disease, but it is not curative. In some cases, a kidney transplant may be the only viable treatment option.

3. Acute renal impairment (AIR)

Acute renal failure (AIR) is a condition in which kidney damage or failure occurs that has developed in a short period. It can have repercussions on other organs in the body, such as the heart, lungs, and brain.

Its causes can be very diverse and include severe and extensive burns, shock, excessive bleeding bleeding, severe dehydration, and the use of certain medications. It is more common in elderly people and hospitalized patients – especially those who need intensive care.

The symptoms of the IRA are as follows:

It is crucial to seek immediate medical attention if any of these symptoms are experienced. The IRA is a serious condition requiring urgent treatment.

With timely intervention it is possible to prevent complications and reach successful recovery.

4. Renal Calculations

The stones in the kidneys are added to the list of the most common kidney diseases. They occur when the minerals and other substances present in the urine crystallize, forming solid masses within the urinary ducts.

Kidney stones are usually formed when there is an excess of mineral salts, such as calcium oxalate, calcium phosphate or uric acid.

The disease due to the formation of stones is called renal lithiasis. Its characteristic symptoms are the following:

These formations can come out of the body through the urine. It is a process that, although it causes a lot of pain, rarely causes significant complications.

When seeking medical attention for this common kidney disease, the doctor will initiate a diagnostic process and plan treatment. It may be only observation and dietary changes or will require procedures to remove stones.

To prevent the formation of kidney stones it is necessary to maintain adequate hydration. In addition, food intake that could increase the concentration of substances originating from lithiasis should be monitored.

5. Kidney Skets

Simple kidney cysts are fluid-filled bags that develop in kidney tissue. Their exact cause is still unknown. Sometimes, they appear as a result of an injury or previous damage.

The simple cyst is lonely and, most of the time, asymptomatic. However, it can cause problems if it breaks, bleeds, or grows enough to put pressure on neighboring structures. Pain may then appear on the flanks, back, or abdomen, with increased urinary frequency, and blood in the urine.

It is important to differentiate the simple cyst from polycystic kidney disease, a genetic condition that causes the formation of numerous cysts in the kidneys. These lesions can interfere with organ function and trigger kidney failure.

Symptoms of polycystic disease include back or side pain, high blood pressure, recurrent urinary tract infections, and blood in the urine. This condition is serious and can progress.

6. Glomerulonephritis

Glomerulonephritis is another common kidney disease, although, for sure, the term includes a heterogeneous group of disorders that occur with hematuria, proteinuria, high blood pressure, and reduction of kidney function to varying degrees. The situation is characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli, which are the tiny structures responsible for filtering the blood.

Symptoms go according to the definition of the disease. There is blood in the urine (hematuria), and proteins in the urine (proteinuria) that cause sparkling fluid, swelling in the body, and high blood pressure.

The origin of glomerulonephritis is diverse. You can respond to infections, the use of some medications, or congenital disorders. While it improves on its own in mild cases, there are also aggressive forms that require dialysis or kidney transplantation.

7. Nephrotic syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disorder characterized by excessive excretion of proteins in the urine, due to damage to glomeruli. This condition may have several causes, including primary kidney disease and systemic disorders, such as diabetes.

The most common symptoms of nephrotic syndrome are persistent fatigue, swelling around the eyes or ankles, and weight gain from fluid buildup in the body. In addition, excessive excretion of proteins in the urine leads to the decrease of these molecules in the blood, which can lead to hypercholesterolemia as a side effect and a greater possibility of bleeding and thrombotic disorders.

Treatment focuses on controlling symptoms, preventing complications, and addressing the underlying cause. This can be achieved by using medicines to reduce protein loss, diuretics to help eliminate excess fluids, and, in severe cases, procedures such as plasmapheresis therapy or kidney transplantation.

8. Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is the result of uncontrolled growth of cells in the organ. The most common variety is clear cell renal carcinoma, which constitutes approximately 70 percent of all cases in adults.

However, there are other less frequent types. For example, transition cell carcinoma, Wilms tumor (nephroblastoma), and kidney sarcoma.

There are risk factors that increase the likelihood of developing kidney cancer. Among them, are smoking, family history, obesity, chronic kidney disease, and high blood pressure.

In its early stages, it is usually asymptomatic, making it difficult to detect early detection. However, as the disease progresses, the following signs may appear:

The diagnosis is done through imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs. With blood tests, it is possible to detect tumor markers.

Treatment may use surgery to remove the tumor, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy. It depends on the stage at the time of the diagnosis and the aggressiveness of the cancer.

Who Can Develop Problems in The Kidneys?

Several situations may predispose a person to have one of the most common kidney diseases. The main risk factors are:

How Can The Most Common Kidney Diseases Be Prevented?

General care is a valuable way to prevent the most common kidney disease. Simple habits to promote the health of the kidneys can preserve the functionality of organs in the long term, such as the following:

In addition, you have to be vigilant when symptoms of kidney disease appear. In that case, the health professional should be consulted immediately. This will reduce attention time and help avoid serious complications.

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