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Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys become damaged and can’t perform their core functions, such as filtering waste products and excess water. It is often caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, and various other chronic (long-term) conditions. If kidney disease gets worse over time, the kidneys may stop working completely, which can be life-threatening.

Types of Kidney Diseases

The kidneys can be affected by a variety of diseases, including:

Acute kidney injury

Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a sudden episode of kidney failure or kidney damage that happens within a few hours or a few days. AKI causes a build-up of waste products and excess liquids in the blood and disrupts the blood’s chemical makeup. Acute kidney injury can be fatal and requires intensive treatment. 

Some common signs and symptoms of AKI may include decreased urine output, fluid retention, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, nausea, and chest pain or pressure. Treatment for acute kidney failure will depend on the underlying cause of the kidney injury. Your doctor may work to prevent complications and allow the kidneys time to heal. This may include:

  • Treatments to balance the amount of fluids in the blood
  • Medications to control blood potassium
  • Medications to restore blood calcium levels
  • Dialysis to remove toxins from your blood

Chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD), also known as chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. CKD is divided into five stages based on how well the kidneys can filter waste and excess fluid from the blood. CKD occurs when a disease or condition, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or glomerulonephritis, impairs kidney function.  

The treatment of chronic kidney disease usually consists of measures to help control signs and symptoms, reduce complications and slow progression of the disease. Treatments that may help complications include medications and lifestyle changes. If the kidneys can’t keep up with waste and fluid clearance on their own, the individual may need dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Kidney stones

Kidney stones are a common health problem that affect more than half a million people annually. Kidney stones are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside the kidneys. Diet, excess body weight, some medical conditions, and certain medications are some of the common causes of kidney stones. Symptoms may include:

  • Severe, sharp pain in the side and back
  • Pain or burning sensation while urinating
  • Pink, red or brown urine
  • Cloudy or foul-smelling urine

Treatment for kidney stones varies, depending on the type and cause of the kidney stone. Most small kidney stones can be treated with at-home remedies or medical therapy. Larger kidney stones may require more intensive treatment, such as extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) or surgery.

Urinary tract infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection from microbes and can happen anywhere in the urinary tract. Symptoms of a UTI may include:

  • Burning sensation when urinating
  • Increased frequency of urination 
  • Cloudy urine
  • Bloody urine
  • Pelvic pain in women and rectal pain in mean
  • Urine that has a strong odor

In most cases, UTIs are caused by bacteria and can be treated with antibiotics. Lower tract UTIs are often treated with oral antibiotics, and upper tract UTIs require intravenous antibiotics.

Nephrotic syndrome

Nephrotic syndrome is a kidney disease that causes the body to pass too much protein in the urine. It is usually caused by damage to the clusters of small blood vessels in the kidneys that filter waste and excess water from the blood. Nephrotic syndrome causes swelling, particularly in the feet and ankles and can increase the risk of other health problems.

Treatment for nephrotic syndrome involves treating any underlying medical condition that may be causing it. Your doctor may recommend medications and lifestyle changes to help control signs and symptoms. 

Contact us

At Summit Medical Clinic, we provide consultation and ongoing care for the prevention and treatment of kidney-related diseases. Schedule an appointment by calling (719) 630-1006 or visiting our website.

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