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Kidney Disorders -the Aftermath of Erroneous Lifestyle

Kidney Disorders -the Aftermath of Erroneous Lifestyle

Posted By Rupa Jaiswal Posted on Oct 20, 2021

What is kidney and its function?
Kidneys are two reddish, bean-shaped organs located on either side of the spine in the center of the back. Their prime job is to filter blood . Each kidney contains about a millions of tiny filters that can process around 40 gallons of fluid every day. When blood pressure through the kidney, the filters sieve and hold onto the substances the body might need, such as certain nutrients and much of the water. Extra water along with harmful waste substances and nutrients are routed to the nearby bladder, and flushed away as urine .

Kidney Disorders -the Aftermath of Erroneous Lifestyle

We all lose a little of our kidney function as we get older. People can survive with just one kidney even if they donate the other one. Kidneys might also begin to malfunction, which is not realized for a long while.

Kidney disorders usually do not show any symptoms until the problem becomes serious or irreversible. But when the function drops, extra water and toxins start building up in the blood, leading to decrease in hormones production further giving rise to several other problems. About 1 in 10 adults nationwide, or about 2 crore people, have at least some signs of kidney damage.

Kidney disorders make the kidneys ineffective in cleansing off the blood losing their ability to filter the supplementary water as well as to control the pressure of the blood in the body.

Lifestyle Factors fostering kidney disorders
Kidney Disorders are of the global public Health concern. diabetes , hypertension and obesity are major contributors to the burden and are important traditional risk factors for kidney disorders; however, nontraditional ones such as nephrotoxin (toxic substance that damages the kidney cells or tissues) exposure, kidney stones, infections, environmental factors and acute kidney injury, are also increasingly being recognized globally as major threats to kidney health.

What are the risk factors of kidney disease?

Obesity Obesity is a potent risk factor contributing for the development of one of the kidney disorders. Obese people may produce abnormal amounts of protein in urine, followed by a progressive loss of renal (kidney) function. It also increases the risk of diabetes and hypertension up to 2 to 6 times. Decreasing the prevalence of obesity by improving lifestyle factors may help in preventing kidney disorders.

Alcohol Alcohol intake may have negative effects on renal function. It is a potential risk factor for glomerular damage, hypertension and hypertensive nephrosclerosis. Average consumption of more than two alcoholic drinks per day can increase the risk of kidney failure.

Smoking Smoking increases the risk of developing nephropathy in people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes , and nearly doubles the rate of progression to end-stage renal failure. It is accompanied by decrease in Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR ).

Salt Intake A balance of sodium and potassium is required to pull water across the wall from the bloodstream into a collecting channel of the kidney. A high salt diet alters this balance, causing the kidneys to have reduced function and remove less water resulting in higher blood pressure. This strains the kidneys and may lead to kidney disorders. A high salt intake increases the amount of proteins in the urine, which is a major risk factor for the decline of kidney function. It may worsen the kidney disease in people already suffering from kidney disorders.

Sedentary behavior Sedentary behavior is one of the strongest risk factor for many Chronic diseases and conditions, including cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis , colon cancer, renal disease, and depression. Low physical fitness combined with obesity gives rise to a number of degenerative diseases including Chronic Kidney Disorders.

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How many types of kidney diseases are there?
There are different types of kidney disorders/diseases. Most strike both kidneys at the same time, harming the nephrons and reducing their ability of filtering. Enlisting the disorders:

Polycystic Kidney Disease It is a genetic kidney disorder that causes many cysts filled with fluids to grow in the kidneys. This malfunction is the most common. The affected kidney increases in mass and causes excruciating pain.

Some symptoms include:
- Presence of blood in urine
- High blood pressure
- Painful menstruation
- Nail abnormalities
- Abdominal pain on either side

Glomerulonephritis It is a disorder that causes irritation in glomeruli, which are tiny blood vessels in the kidneys. This disorder is the result of inflammation, commonly arising due to some medications, congenital or Metabolic disorders. Other conditions as a consequence of this inflammation are lupus nephritis and autoimmune nephritis. Common symptoms include:
- Reduced urine
- Loin pain
- Blood in the urine
- Edema

- Acute kidney injury: kidney failure that happens very quickly, often because of injuries, major blood loss or reactions to medicines

Chronic Kidney Disease Chronic Kidney Disease is among the most common kidney diseases. It develops and gets worse over time. High blood pressure is the leading cause since it increases pressure on the glomeruli, causing damage to these tiny vessels. In case of diabetes, increase in blood sugar levels damage the vessels rendering kidney unable to perform its cleansing functions. Progression of this disease leads to kidney failure, which demands dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Common symptoms:
- Exhaustion
- Muscle cramps
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Increased urination

Renal Acidosis Due to the malfunctioning of the kidney, acids which normally are excreted from the body, accumulates in the blood. This causes the heart to speed up the rate of breathing causing several cardiovascular problems. Treatment for this type of disorder is usually weight control and following a proper diet plan.

Kidney Cancer Another common kidney disorder is kidney cancer . It is a cancer that grows inside the kidneys. The National Cancer Centre, rated it as one of the most common types of cancer. Cancer develops when kidney tissues grow at an abnormal rate and fail to die off as required. Smoking, obesity, and high blood pressure increase the chances of getting kidney cancer.

Pyelonephritis Pyelonephritis is commonly referred to as Urinary Tract Infections (UTI). it is mostly occasioned by bacterial or viral infections on parts of the urinary tract. Bladder and urethra infections are common. This disorder is easily treatable and rarely causes health complications unless left untreated. Renal infections are observed commonly in women (as well as pregnant women), also seen in children (below 2 years of age) and individuals (above 60 years of age)

Unlike the name Renal infection, kidneys alone are not a part of this notorious infection, as it begins from the urethra, spreads to the bladder, then the ureters and eventually when left untreated/undetected move on to the bean shaped organs, about the size of a fist. This spread of infection is exactly opposite to that of the expulsion of urine from the body, which is a necessary function wherein everyday, kidney is known to process 200 litres of blood to produce 2 litres of urine (composed of wastes and extra water).

Pyelonephritis is a bacterium or virus based infection, and though there is a range of bacteria and viruses that cause pyelonephritis, Escherichia coli is known to be a most common cause.

Pyelonephritis Risk Factors :
- Vesicoureteral reflux*
- Pregnant women
- People with diabetes
- Individuals having weakened immune system
- Men with enlarged prostate gland
- Those lacking Toilet hygiene
*Occurs when valve that prevents backward flow of urine, malfunctions.

Symptoms of Pyelonephritis
- Diarrhea
- Nausea
- Uncontrollable shivering
- Vomiting
- Back pain
- Frequent, painful urination (Dysuria)

In case of corresponding bladder infection (Cystitis), an individual experiences,
- Bloody urine
- Cloudy urine
- Foul smelling urine
- Inability to urinate fully

How can Pyelonephritis be diagnosed?
Kidney health might seem unimportant, but if one wishes their body to function well overall, these bean shaped organs cannot be ignored. And thus arises the need to go preventive to fight these infections. However, it is advisable that at a strike of a few symptoms an individual must go for the following diagnostic approaches, which are prescribed based on the severity of symptoms,

Pyelonephritis Treatment
Pyelonephritis is treated initially with antibiotics that fight the most common types of bacteria. Meanwhile, the urinalysis or urine culture is performed to analyse the type of infection, whereas the urinary tract obstructions are treated with a surgery.

Kidneys may not be hyped much, like heart, liver or brain, but neglect their health and one will put themselves in grave danger. Our body is our responsibility and our responsibility is to take a proper care, a preventive care towards health, which will eventually lead to harmony.

Kidney stones occur when minerals crystallize in the kidneys forming stones which are passed during urination resulting in severe pain. Larger stones may block the kidney and require surgical removal. They, however, do not cause fatal problems.

What tests are done to check kidney function?
- Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)Measurement and/or estimation
- Creatinine blood and urine tests
- Albumin Urine test
- Imaging tests, such as an Ultra-sound
- Kidney biopsy

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How can you prevent kidney disorder?
There are plenty of measures that may aid in keeping kidneys healthy and help prevent kidney disorder.
- Maintain healthy BMI: Being overweight increases the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which in turn increase the risk of kidney disorders
- Eat healthy food, high in fruit and vegetables, low in salt, sugar and fats
- Drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks
- Exercise regularly
- Avoid smoking
- Limit alcohol intake
- Find ways to help you relax and reduce stress
- Get your kidney check-up done, if in doubt about the risk

Manage it... Prevent it!
Complex as it may seem, renal functions are far more crucial to not only purify the blood but also regulate the ions and electrolytes that maintain the body's homeostasis. Also, any kind of infection affecting these functions, naturally influence our body on the whole. The only way to manage it is to prevent it from damaging the body as much as possible, which may include timely kidney function tests or urinalysis (if any symptoms are observed).

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