Diseases of the kidneys
Most kidney diseases attack both kidneys simultaneously. The Kidney
diseases mostly target nephrons. Nephrons can be damaged quickly
making them incapable of filtering. Damage to nephrons, however is a
slow and silent process. Its only after several years or sometimes, even
decades that the damage becomes evident.
The most common cause of a kidney disease is Diabetes and High blood
pressure. People having a family history of any kind of kidney problem,
are also at the risk of getting one too.
is a disease which keeps the body from absorbing the glucose. Gloucose
is good if it beaks down and gets absorbed. If it stays in the blood, it
can be a poison. The unused, unabsorbed glucose damage the nephrons.
Maintaining a low glucose level can help delay or even prevent the
blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in the kidneys. The
damaged vessels cannot filter wastes from the blood as they are supposed
The early signs Glomerular disease are proteinureia (too much protein in
urine) and/or hematuria (blood in urine). As the name suggests,
Glomerular disease attacks the tiny blood vessels or glomerulli within
the kidney, slowly deteriorating the kidney function. Several types of
kidney diseases come under this category including autoimmune diseases,
infection-related diseases, and sclerotic diseases.
Some kidney diseases are hereditary. For example Polycystic kidney
disease (PKD) is a genetic disorder in which a large amount of cysts
grow within the kidney and gradually replace much of the kidney mass,
reducing renal function and ultimately kidney failure.
Other causes of kidney disease are various medications. Some over the
counter pills can dangerous to kidneys if taken regularly for a long
period of time. People who take painkillers regularly should check with
the doctor if their kidneys are not in trouble.
The kidneys, like
all other organs or parts of body, are subject to disorders from the
presence of surplus waster of irritating character. A simple
inflammation and congestion of these organs is called acute nephritis,
and when this process is prolonged it becomes chronic. In this case the
kidney passes off some of the more solid ingredients of the blood which
show in the urine in the form albumen, fat, white corpuscles, red
corpuscles. If abscesses from in the kidneys there will be pus in the
Diseases of the
kidneys are never primary conditions but are preceded by other
disorders, perhaps of the liver or valvular heart trouble or arterio
sclerosis. The immediate cause is overwork of these organs from excess
pressure in the blood vessels or an excess of irritating wastes or
extraneous materials in the blood, intestinal toxins, drugs, vaccines,
serums, antitoxins, etc.
materials deposit in the kidneys forming “gravel” or stones and called
calculi. These stones may lodge in the ureter in the way to the bladder
and block the passage of urine seriously affecting the function of the
occasionally met with is a “movable kidney”. The kidney is normally
imbedded in fat which holds or anchors the kidney in place. This may
also occur as a result of injury.
The kidneys may
also be affected with a tubercular process when this disease is present
in the body.
Any disease of the
kidneys is a serious matter as it prevents the normal discharge of
poisonous wastes and very often permits the loss of the normal
ingredients of the blood if the passage of urine is entirely obstructed,
the patient will die of uremia poisoning in a very few hours.
Analysis of the
urine will tell us whether or not the kidneys are functioning properly,
and if not, the abnormal products or quantities of certain products will
indicate the cause of the trouble. In this short article we cannot go
into the details of the subject,
However, we warn
you not to rely on the symptoms of kidney trouble recited in patent
medicine advertisements. A pain in the “small of the back” does not
necessarily indicate a disease of the kidneys. This may come from muscle
strain. Constipation, generative trouble or sexual excess. People who
have indulged too freely in alcoholic liquors, tobacco, coffee, sugar,
candy and pastry or who have habitually taken physics are liable to
Fasting and dieting
to purify the blood are essential to promote the proper cure. The diet
should consist largely of fresh fruits, and vegetables, with a few nuts,
meat, eggs, cheese, bread, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, condiments and salt
must be entirely eliminated from the diet.
In case of calculi
the patient should use plenty of grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes
with two tablespoons of olive oil, night and morning. A diet of this
kind will also help to restore a movable kidney to normal kidney
Situated in the
upper part of the abdominal cavity, behind the peritoneum (the membrane
lining the interior of this cavity) and on either side of the spinal
column are the world’s most complex and amazing filtering plant created
by man’s in genuity has ever been able to reproduce their remarkable
construction and precise workings. And understandably so. For the kidney
is the most important of all the organs concerned with maintaining the
constancy of the internal environment.
Perhaps this needs
some explaining. The cells of our body (and those of the other higher
organisms) live in a fluid environment which Claude Bernard, one of the
most celebrated figures in the history of physiology, named the “milieu
interieur” or internal environment.
environment, or the “extra cellular fluid” as it is also called,
fluids which circulate slowly, bathing and soothing the cells
which goes from the tissues to the blood
the blood which
circulates rapidly within a closed system (i.e. the arteries,
arterioles, veins, venules and capillaries).
The composition of
this extra cellular fluid must be kept stable, within very narrow
limits, if the organism id ti continue functioning properly and
independently. Bernard called this the “fixity of the internal
environment” and pointed out that the functions of the human body to
maintain steady states by many complex but coordinated physiological
processes which involve the brain, nerves, heart, kidneys. Lungs. Etc
The Last Word
Now since in the
long run this internal environment is determined, not so much by what is
taken in, as by what is retained and what is excreted, it is pretty
obvious that kidneys have the final say in keeping the internal
environment stable. It is also obvious that if the kidneys are
overstrained and suffer a loss of function, the individual cell and,
consequently, the whole body will be the worse off. As a matter of
fact, the kidneys can be overstrained to such a point that death may
follow in a matter of hours. This point, fortunately, in a fairly young
and normally healthy person is far off for the kidneys have been
remarkably constructed to withstand an awful lot of abuse. After years
of long living, however, this point comes uncomfortably closer. That is
why, for those who have passed middle age and especially those with
previous kidney complaints, it is so important to do everything to
regain and maintain the health of their kidneys.
How can they go
about doing this?
The answer, of
course, is to see that the kidneys are not strained beyond theer
capacity. And to do this it would be best to learn something about how
the kidneys work to keep the internal environment stable.
Variations in urine
In the normal adult
man from 1000 – 1500 cc. (1 to 1 ½ quarts) of urine are excreted by the
kidney. (Children excrete from 3-4 times as much urine per kilogram of
body weight as adults.) however, urinary volume varies with amount of
fluids which are taken in and dependinding upon the amount which is
eliminated via the skin, lungs and intestines. It also varies depending
Diet: A protein
diet increases the amount if urea and i=other toxic substances which
must be excreted so that urinary volume also increases.
high temperature causes sweating and so increases the amount of
water eliminated through the skin. Consequently, urinary volume
Urinary volume increases while in a horizontal position.
short, violent exercise, kidney blood flow decreases, diminishing
the filtration rate of the kidneys and thus the urinary output.
diseased condition signifies an increase in the amount of toxins in
the blood and so increased need in excreting them, urinary output,
therefore, increases. In the case of diabetes, the high
concentration of glucose in the renal tubes prevents the
reabsorption of water so that, again, urinary output is increases.
However in certain kidney disorders, urinary output may decrease or
diminish depending upon the disorder. If for example, the kidneys
lose their capacity to concentrateurine, urinary output will
increase, if the kidneys lose capacity to excrete sodium, which
retains water in the tissues, urinary output will decrease. For this
reason, it is very important to determine the effect of the kidney
disorder by careful blood and urine analysis before proceeding with
Pregnancy increases urinary volume because the kidneys are taxed by
the end products of metabolism of both mother and child.
From this much
simplified picture of kidney function you can understand why and how the
capacity of the kidneys is much above normal needs. As a matter of fact,
it's been estimated that their capacity is roughly
about 400% above their normal work load. But you can
also understand why anything which
will irritate or obstruct the
work of the nephron will diminish kidney
function and predispose the kidney to infection and disease. If the
irritation is constant, kidney function will
progressively deteriorate until a chronic renal disease
results, very probably followed by an early death unless steps are
taken to correct the condition.
Such was the case
of a woman who as a child lacked the resistance to ward off a
streptococci infection (such as scarlet fever) which further developed
into an acute case of glomerular nephritis (an acute inflammation
of the glomerulii). During the acute phase of this disease, her kidney
function deteriorated to such an extent that its capacity fell below the
normal work load and permanent damage to the kidneys resulted. After
the acute phase had subsided, her kidneys remained in a weakened
condition so that the disease became latent. Complete kidney
capacity was never recovered, though the existing
capacity was m than enough under
normal circumstances. At the age of 25 the woman came pregnant and her
kidneys ag were taxed beyond their capacity. Ag; permanent kidney damage
resulted ; kidney function deteriorated still m1 Because of
the kidneys' remark; power to
take abuse, the woman covered from her complicated
pregnancy but with considerably weaker kidneys. Though these could
still handle a normal work load, a typically rich, high protein diet (on
the assumption that she to build up her "strength") did the : The woman
died, at the age of fifty-i of uremia (blood poisoning due to
failure of the kidneys to eliminate t wastes). If a rational, natural
program of treatment had been started following childhood disease, or
even after pregnancy, her case history need not 1 ended in an early
Different Forms of kidney disease
Most people lump
all kidney under one name: Bright's Disease. group of symptoms,
that doctors today recognize different forms of this disease:
inflammation of the glomeruli, most often resulting in the destruction
of nephrons and, thus, in diminished kidney capacity. This disease
entity is recognized in two forms: the acute and the chronic forms.
Acute glomerulonephritis usually occurs only in children and young
adults; cases of this disease in those already past the forty year mark
are very rare. It begins suddenly—usually following some infection of
the upper respiratory tract—its course is stormy, but given the proper
care and attention, it will be overcome by the body without any or
little permanent damage to the kidneys resulting. Chronic
glomerulonephritis, on the other hand, is another story. Its onset is
insidious—possibly tracing its beginnings to a poorly tended
childhood attack of nephritis which
instead of being cured became latent—and it is this very
characteristic of unsuspected existence that makes this form of the
disease so dangerous. Too often extensive, irreparable damage is done to
kidneys before the victim is aware of its presence and then it's too
Blood in Urine
The condition of
blood in Urine is termed as Hematuria. The presence of blood in the
urine is probably one of the first noticeable—and certainly one of the
most consistent— signs of glomerulonephritis. The
same may be caused due to Improper functioning of Kidney’s, Stone in
Urinary Bladder, some infection, sudden weather climate changes or
presence of some parasites, some injury or trauma are few reasons for
the same. Headache may give an indication of the rise in blood
pressure which usually accompanies
kidney damage. Edema or dropsy is also very often an accompaniment of
it. The victim may complain of weakness, backache and loss of appetite.
This may result pain in Kidneys, Urine may show blood which could have
come with or without pain, there can be burning sensation, and however
the burning sensation is in rare case. In such cases as it is advised to
consume food devoid of meat, fats, fish, fried, alcohol, spicy food,
fruits as well. It is suggested to take plenty of boiled and then cooled
water, alkaline, soda water even coconut water is advised. Patient is
advised to take Bed rest and preferably with legs raised avoiding strain
on Urinary passage. In case Non-diabetic patients Sugarcane juice is
recommended. Tea, coffee, cold drinks should be avoided. A urinalysis
will usually show—in addition to blood in the urine—the presence of
protein and casts and a decreased capacity to excrete nitrogen. In the
final stages of the disease, the patient will complain of "blurred" or
Albuminuria ( Albumin/Protein in Urine):
The condition in
which albumin is present in urine is called as Albuminuria. Serum
Albumin is protein soluble in water which is found in blood plasma. In
case where Liver is unable to synthesize Albumin the same can lead to
Chronic Liver disease called Cirrhosis of Liver.
This condition can
be caused due to Acute Nephritis, Diabetes Mellitus, Nervous disorders,
can also be caused due excess of blood in vessels supplying blood to
body, syphilis, cystitis, etc. In case such conditions are lasting for
longer period resulting to Blood pressure, Hypertension the diagnosis is
grave. In such cases normally if it is acute case iron and Calcium
Lactate is advised by doctors. Also, patient can be benefited by
drinking plenty of water, liquid, lasix to cause free flow of urine.
Also spicy, fatty, fried food should be avoided.
(or degenerative Bright's disease), a degenerative change in the
glomeruli and tubules* without any apparent signs of inflammation.
Acute nephroses usually accompanies an infectious disease or
intoxication or poisoning, Lipoid nephroses is a childhood disease
associated with a disturbance in protein metabolism. Chronic
nephrosis is a slowly progressive degeneration of the glomeruli and
tubules usually associated with some kind of metabolic disease
gout, diabetes, etc. Unlike glomerulonephritis, there is no blood in
the urine and the blood pressure remains the same. For some reason,
though, the basal metabolism rate is lowered without any apparent
change in the functioning of the thyroid gland. Like
glomerulonephritis, this disease is characterized by marked edema
(dropsy) and by the presence of casts and protein in the urine. In
addition, the plasma (blood) protein level is lowered while the
blood lipids and cholesterol levels are high.
(arterioscler-otic Bright's disease), a progressive thickening of
the small kidney arteries which is characterized by high blood
pressure. The clinical symptoms of the benign form of this disease
are very like chronic glomerulonephritis with the exception that
no blood is found in the urine and that the elevated blood pressure
precedes the usual signs of kidney involvement, i.e. the presence of
protein and casts in the urine, edema and nitrogen retention. As the
disease progresses, the patient complains of vague digestive
disorders, headaches, etc. In the still more advanced stages,
the heart becomes enlarged and person's
"blurred" (Bright's blindness). The signs of this benign form are so
relatively mild and apparently generalized
that, in many cases, it is this last symptom
which leads the patient to seek help .. . when it is already too
late. Usually, death comes because of the effects of high blood
pressure and concurrent vascular changes
rather than failure of the kidneys.
inflammation of the kidney and the renal pelvis, resulting in the
destruction of kidney tissue, its fibrosis and its subsequent
contraction, so that the kidney actually becomes smaller. If the
destruction of kidney tissue is sufficiently widespread, death will
result from uremia (blood poisoning from metabolic wastes because of the
kidney’s failure to execute them.
usually follows an infection of the urinary tract or mechanical
obstruction of the lower urinary tract. (This latter factor plays an
important role in the kidney ailments of the older male, since
enlargement of the prostate is quite frequently associated with kidney
impairment.) The onset of the acute form of this disease is sudden,
possibly following a few days of malaise with chills, fever, headache
and pain in the groin and in the back. The urine contains bacteria,
albumin and pus and there is frequency and burning on urination. Chronic
pyelonephritis is more common among women often arising from an acute
attack during childhood or during pregnancy when this additional
physiological strain causes a "lightening up" of an old infection. As
in the other forms of chronic kidney ailments, the symptoms, similar to
those of the acute form, may be so mild that the disease may not be
recognized until after it has reached the final stages. Recurring bouts
of fever with headarhe. lumbar nain and tenderness on palpation of the
kidney, as well as the usual urinary symptoms, become more and more
common as the disease progresses and should lead to suspicion of the
existence of pyelonephritis. The presence of pus and bacteria in the
urine should then be convincing evidence of kidney infection.
Inflammation of Pelvis and Renal Colic
Pelvis is the
Kidney Part from which urine drains into ureter. By any means in
case bacterial infection results into functioning of free flow of
urine is called as Pyelitis. Normally, this obstruction can be
partial or full part of Urine flow.
In such case
patient shows High Temperature also may shiver and show resistance.
There can be pain resulted in Loins. In such cases any antibiotic
with its normal dosage days can be suggested to stop infection going
further. Paracetamol or Antispasmodic can be suggested to relieve
pain. Dosage is to be adhered to as per Medical Advice. During and
after medication Urine examination has to be carried out. In case of
any blockage or congestion it is advisable to take plenty of fluid
to reduce burning, irritation and make urine basic/alkaline. In case
of severe pain patient can be injected with pain killer medication.
There can be
pain in Kidneys due to infections or presence of Stone in Kidney.
This pain can result due to bloating of kidneys resultant of
accumulation of urine. Also, movement of Kidney stones or process in
which stone is about to leave Kidney can cause this pain.
causes unbearable pain which can be felt in Urethra or Pelvis as
well. Patient may have a feeling of urinal however actually urine
may come in drops and not properly. The pain may further reach to
thighs and be intermittent in nature. This pain can subside in case
of restoration of normal functioning of urination.
condition Lasix can be suggested to restore normal flow of urine.
Also to reduce pain Anti-spasmodic can be suggested. Externally,
massage or Hot water treatment can be given on outer part of
Kidney/abdomen. Water/fluid intake is increased and patient may be
made to consume oral liquids like coconut water, aerated soda water
or milk mixed with water with more amount of water and less milk.
When there is
mobility witnessed of kidneys, it is called as Nephroptosis. Such
situation can be known by X-ray or else physical examination of patient
can determine the same. This can be caused due to lifting heavy things,
putting in very tight outfit, physical labor, and pressure on organs
symptoms of uneasiness in bladder, constipation, heavy lower abdomen.
These are symptoms though not objective symptoms. In such cases doctors
generally operate patient to proper wandering Kidneys. . In case of
movable kidneys pad binders on abdomen are also tried and are successful
in solving problems and providing almost complete relief to patients.
Generally the same
situation is seen more in women. In case of women showing excessive
mobility resulting into pain and improper flow of urine, doctors
generally operates patient (Nephropexy). Proper binding and padding
ensures normalcy. In case of thin ladies if such situation occurs they
are generally advised by doctors to put on weight, consume fat and
protein rich diet and improve on physical activity. In case of patient
complaining of pain normally analgesics are advised by doctors to relive
There are, of course, other recognized forms of kidney ailments: tumors
of the kidney, tuberculosis of the kidney, etc. These disorders are
comparatively uncommon so that they will not be discussed as such in
this article. One should bear in mind, however, that even in these cases
anything which will improve the overall health of the patient and so of
the kidneys, will be of benefit.
Given half the chance, the kidneys, with their amazing reserve capacity
and superlative recuperative powers, in childhood and early adulthood,
will naturally throw off the acute forms of disease. This is not
generally the case as age creeps up on us and, so, because of its
unsuspected prevalence and hidden dangers, especially for those over 40
the remainder of this "article will dwell at some length on chronic
This deceptive aspect of chronic renal disorders—not often taken into
account by the family doctor—is, perhaps, best expressed by Drs. Edwards
J. Stieglitz and S. T. Kimble in their chapter on the nephropathies in
"Geriatric Medicine" —a standard work on the problems of aging, edited
by Dr. Stieglitz, himself.
"The silence of degenerative disease processes cannot be overemphasized.
It must be kept in mind constantly if diagnoses are to be made and
treatment instituted before irreparable damage has occured (italics
ours). Attention often is not attracted to the kidneys by symptoms until
their vast reserves are depleted and decompensation supervenes . . .
Initial symptoms as well as signs may be referred to other symptoms of
the body. For example, persistent headache or the sudden blindness of
retinal hemorrhage may be the first subjective signal of danger. Only
while performing thorough physical examinations and not being satisfied
bv routine urinalyses . . . will physicians diagnose nephropathy in the
elderly while there is still an opportunity to salvage appreciable
kidney function." There are several factors which increase the kidney's
susceptibility to disease with advancing years. The patient, and the
attending doctor, should be aware of them if any progress is to be made
in the prevention and control of kidney impairment.
The human kidney decreases in size as well as in the number of blood
vessels it has servicing it, even when there has been no history of
kidney disease. A microscopic examination would show the obliteration
of many of the functional units (the nephrons). The kidney, therefore,
not only has decreased in size, but in functional capacity.
"Obviously," say Drs. Stieglitz and Kimble, "the probability of previous
renal injury increases with age. The silently accumulative injury and
its functional consequence, however, are . . . difficult to detect."
Previous damage to the kidneys may have resulted from a variety of
apparently unimportant factors: repeated exposure to bacterial and
non-bacterial toxins such as lead, arsenic, mercury, alcohol, carbon
tetrachloride, etc., etc. so often encountered by modern man; mechanical
obstruction in the lower urinary tract from an enlarged prostate gland
or kidney stones; repeated insults from faulty dietary habits, etc.
"The effect of
previous renal damage, whatever the cause, is to leave the patient with
fewer functional units (nephrons) and consequently less kidney reserve.
He may develop no signs or symptoms of insufficiency under the usual
work load, but when the renal burden is sufficiently increased as by a
severe febril infection or by dehydration, decompensation may occur."
There are other
outside factors which affect the kidneys' susceptibility to injury as
one's age advances. For example, changes in the circulatory system have
a strong effect on renal capacity. The kidneys are not able to clear
the blood of metabolic wastes unless the circulation is adequate. As the
years progressively take their toll, circulation reserve becomes less
capacity to render toxic substances harmless also diminishes with age.
And, so, the kidneys, even though their reserves have been lowered, are
called upon to take an added burden. The margin of safety thus becomes
Tissue Repair Retarded
The rate of tissue
repair also decreases with advancing age. It has been calculated—and
with a high degree of accuracy—that an additional day is necessary for
the healing of tissue with each five years of age. Translated in terms
of kidney function, this means that—even in the absence of kidney
disease—the recovery of a nephron (or nephrons), damaged, let us say,
by some toxic substance, requires more time in some one over forty than
in a young adult. Much too often further strain is placed heedlessly
upon the weakened nephron or nephrons before complete healing has been
effected and, thus, all chance of future recovery is obviated.
Surely, all these
factors point to the need of easing the burden of life— the daily work
load – of not just the kidneys but of all the vital organs as one grows
older. Unfortunately, many doctors, patients and non-patients alike
seem to think that the rules only apply to the other fellow.
The rules of Nature
are universal: it's in trying to disregard them that we make our