Kidney Disease - Causes and Treatments

Kidney Disease

The kidneys are two fist-sized, rounded organs that can be found at the base of each rib cage. The kidneys are responsible for filtering out waste and excess water from the blood. They also balance levels of potassium, salt and other minerals and produce hormones to control blood pressure and production of red blood cells. Kidney disease is caused when the kidneys can no longer filter waste products and excess water out of the blood, causing unsafe levels to build up. Diabetes and high blood-pressure are the main causes of kidney diseases, but other illnesses and lifestyle choices can also affect kidney functions. 

Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination and take your medical history if you suspect kidney disease. To determine how well your kidneys work, they will order urine and blood tests. The glomerular filter rate (GFR), which measures the amount of blood that your kidneys filter per minute, is a common test. The formula used to calculate this factor takes your age and gender into consideration.

Your doctor will also check the level of urea nitrogen, or BUN, in your urine and your creatinine. This chemical is produced by damaged kidneys. A computed tomography or renal ultrasound scan may be suggested to check the size of your ureters, to look for stones or tumours, and to ensure that your blood flow is normal.

Early kidney disease is often characterized by no symptoms, as the kidneys are able to cope with significant declines in function before any damage occurs. The body is able to produce enough nephroptin hormone, which regulates calcium and other electrolytes like sodium and potassium.
As kidney disease advances, it can lead to problems like high blood pressure, anemia, bone diseases, and problems with urination. If your kidney function is severely reduced, you may not be able to produce any urine. This can even lead to death.

Early kidney disease can be treated with a variety of treatments. These may slow down the progression and alleviate any symptoms that you have. Healthy eating, regular exercise, and limiting salt intake are all important. You should also treat any other conditions or diseases that could be contributing to kidney disease.

You may receive medication, such as ACE-inhibitors or angiotensin-receptor blockers (ARB), to lower your bloodpressure and prevent further kidney damage. The treatment options for kidney disease are limited in the later stages. Dialysis or kidney transplants may be required. Even if your disease is advanced, you can still live a long and healthy life as long as you keep getting treatment and monitor your kidney health.