The kidney is a vital organ and assays some essential regulatory roles. It is required to get rid of waste accumulated in our body, helps regulate blood pressure and in the reabsorption of water, glucose and amino acids. So kidney-related ailments are particularly dangerous and there’s a startling increase in the number of cases. Dr Deepa Jayaram, a renowned nephrologist tells us more about kidney diseases and their symptoms.

 All kidney diseases can be broadly classified into two categories – acute and chronic. Basically, when a disease or condition related to the kidney prevails for more than three months, it can be termed chronic.

High blood pressure and diabetes are culprits

Most kidney conditions – in fact two out of three of them – are caused either due to high blood pressure or diabetes. 

The other group of diseases which contribute to chronic kidney disease is glomerulonephritis (caused due to damage to filters of the kidney also called the glomeruli), autoimmune diseases like Systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE (where the body’s own immune system starts working against the host), inherited or genetic diseases like polycystic kidney disease.

Factors which cause obstruction to the flow of urine like kidney stones can also kidney diseases.

Kidney disease – a silent killer?

The dangerous thing about kidney disease is that it’s very asymptomatic in the early phases. Most people experience nothing drastic until it reaches a more advanced stage when they experience the symptoms that are caused due to build-up of waste material in the body which include lack of concentration, generalised fatigue and weakness, lack of appetite, nausea and vomiting, itching all over the body.

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease.

Since the kidney plays an important role in removing water and salt there can also be symptoms like swelling of the feet, puffiness of the face and tightness of hands. The fluid build-up in lungs can also lead to breathlessness. There could also be symptoms related to complications in the urinary tract like blood in the urine, foam, bubbles, etc (which are mostly signs of protein leakage). Some also experience a burning sensation when they pass urine. 

Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

So, as you can see, it’s important to take good care of your kidney. Not only is it a vital organ with many functions, but it’s very hard to replace. Kidney donors are very hard to find and dialysis can be a very cumbersome process. 

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