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Common Kidney Disorders

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According the National Kidney Foundation, 26 million adults suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and millions more are at risk.

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
CKD takes place over a period of time as the kidneys, specifically the network of tiny arteries and filters called nephrons, continue to be damaged. You may not even be aware of the signs that damage is taking place until substantial injury has already occurred. Regular screening is an important way to monitor exactly how well your kidneys are functioning. Some of the most common symptoms of CKD include urinating less frequently, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, nausea and difficulty sleeping. CKD is also frequently a result of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Treatment: The goal of treatment for CKD is to prevent further damage to the kidneys. Developing a healthy diet and exercise routine, avoiding use of tobacco products, alcohol and other drugs, have a positive impact on the kidneys. Also, since kidney disease is often the result of another illness, treating any other medical complication is very important.

Kidney Stones
These often painful and troublesome stones are made up or mineral and salt deposits in the kidneys. They may be tiny or may be nearly the size of a golf ball. Sometimes stones will stay in the kidneys and other times they will move on to be excreted through the urinary tract. Depending on the size, the result can be very painful. Family history and lack of proper hydration are two of the leading causes of kidney stones.

Treatment: Most of the time you will be able to pass the stone by yourself but your physician may prescribe something for pain. Increasing your water intake is also very important for helping to break down and pass a stone. If the stone is stuck, further medical treatment may be required – these cases are pretty rare.

Acute Renal Failure
When the kidneys unexpectedly and suddenly stop functioning, acute renal failure takes place. Since the kidneys are responsible for eliminating wastes and toxins from the blood, these begin to back up and cause damage to the body. Causes of this condition vary but include things like poisoning, dehydration, drop in blood flow or a blockage that makes it impossible for urine to flow out of the kidneys. Often people suffering from renal failure have confusion, back pain, nausea or lack of appetite, however, symptoms do not always appear.

Treatment: Once the cause of the failure is found by a physician, it must be treated right away in order to restore normal function to the kidneys. There are many different causes of acute renal failure and once one is pinpointed, it must be specifically treated. Common treatments include, discontinuing medications that damage the kidneys, removing a blockage, plasma exchange and replacing lost fluids.