Kidneys are the two organs that are located in the abdominal cavity on both sides of the spine just above the waist and in the middle of the back. Kidneys perform many life sustaining roles and one of them is that they cleanse the blood by removing excess waste and fluids. By doing so, kidneys help to maintain the balance of minerals and salts in your blood and thus regulate the blood pressure.
But in some cases, kidneys can become damaged and this may lead to building up of waste products and fluids in the body. This may lead to swelling up of your ankles, weakness, poor sleep and vomiting. If left untreated, the kidneys may stop working completely and this can even result in death. The following is some more information on kidneys and related diseases.
Acute Kidney Injury
Acute kidney injury is caused when there is a sudden loss to the kidney function and the major reasons for this condition are as follows:
- Lack of the flow of blood to the kidneys.
- Blockage of urine from the kidneys.
- Direct damage to the kidneys themselves.
- Traumatic injury with blood loss
- Damage to the kidneys from some kind of a shock during an infection known as sepsis.
- Damage to kidneys from certain kinds of toxins or drugs.
- Obstruction of urine flow.
- Pregnancy related complications.
Chronic Kidney Disease
The decreased function of kidneys or damage to them which extends for a period of more than 3 months is known as chronic kidney disease. This condition is more serious and dangerous because by the time the symptoms are detected, it is usually too late and the situation has become irreplaceable. Some of the main causes of chronic kidney disease include diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Inflammation in the small filters within the kidneys can happen after strep infections and this can result in development of chronic kidney diseases.
- Immune system conditions like lupus and chronic viral diseases such as hepatitis and HIV/AIDS are also possible causes of chronic kidney diseases.
- Polycystic kidney diseases wherein fluid filled cysts form within the kidneys over a given period of time can also lead to the development of chronic kidney problems or diseases.
- Another cause of chronic kidney disease is congenital defects which are present at the time of birth itself.
- Long term exposure to drugs and toxins can also lead to kidney disease. It is always advisable to consult your doctor before continuing a medicine that was prescribed to you for a short period of time.
- Long term exposure to certain types of medicines and medications can also lead to chronic kidney diseases including naproxen, ibuprofen. Use of street or intravenous drugs can also cause kidney problems which may turn into chronic kidney disease.
- Urinary tract infections within the kidneys are also culprits for causing chronic kidney diseases.