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Kidney Diseases

Also called: Renal disease

You have two kidneys, each about the size of your fist. They are near the middle of your back, just below the rib cage. Inside each kidney there are about a million tiny structures called nephrons. They filter your blood. They remove wastes and extra water, which become urine. The urine flows through tubes called ureters. It goes to your bladder, which stores the urine until you go to the bathroom.

Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Causes can include genetic problems, injuries, or medicines. You have a higher risk of kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a close family member with kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease damages the nephrons slowly over several years. Other kidney problems include

Your doctor can do blood and urine tests to check if you have kidney disease. If your kidneys fail, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Kidney Diseases

The following features are indicative of Kidney Diseases:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • weakness
  • sleep problems
  • decreased mental sharpness
  • muscle twitches
  • muscle cramps
  • swelling of feet and ankles
  • persistent itching
It is possible that Kidney Diseases shows no physical symptoms and still be present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Kidney Diseases

The following are the most common causes of Kidney Diseases:
  • type 1 or type 2 diabetes
  • high blood pressure
  • glomerulonephritis
  • interstitial nephritis
  • polycystic kidney disease
  • prolonged obstruction of the urinary tract
  • kidney infection

Risk Factors for Kidney Diseases

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Kidney Diseases:
  • being diabetic
  • high blood pressure
  • heart and blood vessel disease
  • smoking
  • obesity
  • family history of kidney disease
  • abnormal kidney structure
  • older age

Prevention of Kidney Diseases

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Kidney Diseases. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • stop smoking
  • eat a balanced and healthy diet
  • cut down on alcohol
  • exercise regularly
  • carefully use painkillers

Occurrence of Kidney Diseases

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Kidney Diseases cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Kidney Diseases can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Kidney Diseases can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Kidney Diseases

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Kidney Diseases:
  • Blood tests: To look the levels of creatinine and urea in the blood
  • Urine tests: To analyze the abnormalities
  • Imaging tests: To assess the kidneys' structure and size

Doctor for Diagnosis of Kidney Diseases

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Kidney Diseases:
  • Nephrologist
  • Endocrinologist

Complications of Kidney Diseases if untreated

Yes, Kidney Diseases causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Kidney Diseases is left untreated:
  • fluid retention
  • sudden rise in potassium levels in the blood
  • heart and blood vessel disease
  • weak bones
  • increased risk of bone fractures
  • anemia
  • decreased sex drive
  • erectile dysfunction
  • damage to central nervous system
  • decreased immune response
  • pericarditis
  • pregnancy complications

Procedures for Treatment of Kidney Diseases

The following procedures are used to treat Kidney Diseases:
  • Dialysis: Removes the waste products and extra fluid from the blood
  • Kidney transplant: Surgically placing a healthy kidney from a donor into the another body

Medicines for Kidney Diseases

Below is the list of medicines used for Kidney Diseases:

Self-care for Kidney Diseases

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Kidney Diseases:
  • Keep blood pressure in control: Prevent or delay diabetes complications
  • Cholesterol control: Decreases the chances of disease
  • Quit smoking: Reduces the chances of kidney damage
  • Regular physical activity: Keep the blood glucose and blood cholesterol levels in control
  • Keep weight under control: Helps the kidneys to last longer

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Kidney Diseases

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Kidney Diseases:
  • Acupuncture therapy: Improves the kidney function
  • Massage therapy: Rehabilitation strategies improves the well-being of kidneys
  • Do meditation: Improves the functioning of kidneys

Patient Support for Treatment of Kidney Diseases

The following actions may help Kidney Diseases patients:
  • Learn about disease: Read out the information as much as possible about the illness
  • Stay active: Stay involved in the activities and responsibilities of daily living
  • Family interaction: Share your feelings with family or close friends
  • Meetings with other patients: Share your feelings with other patients

Time for Treatment of Kidney Diseases

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Kidney Diseases to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • Disease cannot be treated but only maintained or effects reduced

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 3/15/2019.
This page provides information for Kidney Diseases.
Chronic Kidney Disease
Creatinine
Diabetic Kidney Disease
Kidney Cancer
Kidney Cysts
Kidney Failure
Kidney Stones
Kidney Tests
Kidney Transplantation
Urine and Urination

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