Are your kidneys healthy?
To enjoy good health, it is important for the kidneys to work well. Kidneys help cleanse your blood, remove toxins from the body and also control blood pressure. If kidneys do not function properly it can affect the overall health in many ways.
Have you not heard of people suffering from kidney disorders? Rather death due to kidney failure is not an uncommon news. But what about the many medical conditions that directly or indirectly affect your kidneys? Yes, there are some medical conditions that can cause kidney problems. Improper health management can lead to various medical conditions which in the long run can cause chronic kidney disease. It is necessary to be aware of such conditions, to plan appropriate treatment and care.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is commonly termed as kidney failure. There are various causes of kidney failure which are often the complications of other medical conditions. The symptoms of CKD progresses gradually, if not diagnosed or treated in time, can be fatal. Many people with this condition require advanced and long term medical care. Hence, regular tests to monitor kidney functions are necessary.
What are the conditions that can cause chronic kidney disease?
Yes, it is true that the other medical conditions can cause kidney problems. To ensure that you and your kidneys stay healthy it is necessary to be aware of such conditions:
Kidney stones are the most common problem affecting your kidneys. Kidneys are involved in regulation of salts, minerals and water balance; any kind of imbalance in their proportion can cause formation of kidney stones. Crystals or stones of salts and minerals are formed in the kidneys or in the urinary bladder. They can even travel down the urinary tract and cause pain and bleeding during urination.
Diabetes is high blood sugar levels which if continued for long can cause damage to the kidneys. Renal or kidney complications are common in diabetics. In diabetes there is more salt and water retention which affects the kidneys and damages the nerves. People with long standing diabetes are often advised to monitor their kidney function along with regular monitoring of blood sugar levels. So, get your kidney function tests done with your routine blood glucose tests and protect your health.
High Blood Pressure
Kidneys play an important role in maintaining normal blood pressure. If blood pressure remains persistently high for a long time, it can affect kidney functioning to varying degrees. Raised blood pressure can damage the blood vessels of the kidneys which hamper their functions of removing wastes and eventually cause kidney damage. Hence, it is important to keep blood pressure under control.
High cholesterol leads to accumulation of fats or plaque build-up on the inner side of the blood vessels. If the kidney blood vessels get affected it ultimately affects the functioning of the kidneys. Improper functioning of kidneys will cause the accumulation of wastes and kidney damage in the long run. Know your cholesterol levels with regular lipid profile tests and plan for effective treatment.
Problems in normal passage of urine can affect your kidneys due to ineffective urination. This can be due to various problems or structural defects which can cause more pressure, less removal of waste and also increase the risk of infection causing kidney damage. Repeated episodes of urinary tract infections too can affect your kidneys.
Blood clots can be formed in the blood vessels anywhere in the body. In case of clot in the blood vessels of kidneys severe damage can be caused. Sometimes when such clots move from their original position and travel elsewhere more problems occur.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
In this condition tiny cysts get formed inside the kidneys. It is generally a genetic problem and is seen to run in families. Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help to manage the condition and protect your kidneys from damage.
Autoimmune Disorders (Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus)
Certain autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc. too can greatly affect your kidneys. In most of these conditions the connective tissue gets affected. Repeated inflammation causes scarring of the kidney tissues. It not only increases the occurrences of urinary tract infections but also affects the overall functioning of kidneys.
Conditions like vesico-ureteric reflux (VUR) can affect the kidneys. There is retrograde flow of the urine to the kidneys which not only causes repeated infections but also causes of kidney tissues. This affects regular kidney functioning and affect the kidneys. Certain birth defects, obstruction of bladder outlet, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord problems, etc. can cause neurogenic bladder problems and affect your kidneys.
The best way to deal with the various kidney related complications is to be cautious and take preventive care as far as possible. Monitor kidney performance with kidney function tests and other investigations, as advised by your doctor to stay healthy.