Understanding Kidney Diseases

Kidneys are extraordinary organs. They contain millions of little blood vessels that act as a very effective filter. When blood passes through these vessels, the salt, waste and excess of fluid are held inside the kidney, while protein and red blood cells are simply too big to be “captured” by the kidneys, so they stay in the now purified blood, which continues to circulate. All waste products then become part of urine and are eliminated from the system with it.

Sometimes, certain circumstances may cause the kidneys to malfunction. This is known as Kidney Disease. When this happens, waste accumulates in the blood and causes sickness.

There are several types of kidney disease, and their treatment varies according to their causes and the amount and type of kidney tissue involved. Also, kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease.

Statistics Of Kidney Disease Patients In The USA

In the United States, kidney disease is the number nine cause of death; and is also a cause of severe reduction on the population’s life quality. The number of non-institutionalized adults with diagnosed kidney disease is approximately 3.7 million, which represents the 1.7 percent of the population. Kidney disease, in its many forms, caused 42,762 deaths in 2004, which means 14.6 out of 10,000 persons died that year from nephritis, nephrotic syndrome, or nephrosis.

Causes Of Kidney Diseases

Kidney disease may happen as a consequence of disorders like diabetes, high blood pressure and others. Some kidney diseases are genetically inherited and cannot be prevented. Detailed explanations about the specific causes of the different types of kidney diseases will be covered in the Kidney (Renal) Diseases section.

Symptoms Of Kidney Diseases

Although they can substantially vary from individual to individual and from a specific disease to another, symptoms of kidney disease may include high blood pressure, anemia (low blood count), poor nutritional health, weak bones, ankle swelling and nerve damage.

Treatment Of Kidney Diseases

Treatment of kidney disease is specific to each disease. However, common treatments against unstoppable diseases consist on compensating the malfunction of the kidneys and supplement their function with an artificial kidney. This is known as dialysis. Kidney infection, when present, can be fought against with the help of antibiotics.

Prevention Of Kidney Diseases

As a general rule, keeping a balanced diet, drinking abundant liquid, reduced sodium ingestion (salt) and maintaining an overall healthy life may prevent most preventable kidney diseases. The best way to cure a kidney disease early is to regularly consult your doctor.

Kidney Disease Archive’s Mission

This web site was created as an easy to read archive of the common kidney diseases. The content on this site is not to be taken as formal medical advice but for you general information only. You should consult your doctor before undertaking any form of treatment for your kidney disease.

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