Renal disorders, also known as kidney disorders or kidney diseases, encompass a wide range of conditions that affect the kidneys’ structure or function.
The kidneys are vital organs responsible for filtering waste products and excess fluids from the blood, regulating electrolyte balance, and maintaining overall fluid and chemical balance in the body. When the kidneys do not function properly, various health issues can arise. Here are some common renal disorders:
- Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): CKD is a long-term condition characterized by the gradual loss of kidney function over time. It can be caused by various factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), glomerulonephritis, and polycystic kidney disease. CKD is categorized into stages based on the level of kidney function, with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) being the most severe stage, often requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.
- Acute Kidney Injury (AKI): AKI, formerly known as acute renal failure, is a sudden and rapid decline in kidney function. It can result from conditions like dehydration, severe infections, medications, and exposure to toxins. AKI can be reversible with prompt treatment and addressing the underlying cause.
- Kidney Stones: Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that can form within the kidneys. They can cause severe pain when they obstruct the urinary tract. Treatment may involve pain management, dietary changes, and, in some cases, surgical removal.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs): UTIs are infections that can affect various parts of the urinary system, including the kidneys (pyelonephritis). Kidney infections can be serious and may require antibiotics and close monitoring.
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): PKD is a genetic disorder where fluid-filled cysts develop within the kidneys. Over time, these cysts can enlarge and impair kidney function. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and complications.
- Glomerulonephritis: This is a group of diseases that cause inflammation and damage to the glomeruli, the tiny filtering units in the kidneys. It can be acute or chronic and may result from infections, autoimmune disorders, or other underlying
The renal system consists of two kidneys, two ureters, one bladder, and one urethra. Working together, these structures remove wastes from the body, regulate acid-base balance by retaining or excreting hydrogen ions, and regulate fluid and electrolyte balance.
Close Look to the Renal System:
Renal System: As this frontal view suggests, the kidneys constitute the major portion of the renal system. These bean-shaped organs lie near and on either side of the spine at the small of the back, with the left kidney positioned slightly higher than the right. The adrenal glands, perched atop the kidneys, influence blood pressure as well as sodium and water retention by the kidneys.
The kidneys receive blood from the renal arteries, which branch off the abdominal aorta. After passing through a complicated network of smaller blood vessels and nephrons, the filtered blood recirculates through the renal veins, which empty into the inferior vena cava.
Excrete to complete
The kidneys excrete waste products that the nephrons remove from the blood, along with other fluids that constitute the formed urine. Urine passes, by peristalsis, through the ureters to the urinary bladder. As the bladder fills, nerves in the bladder wall relax the sphincter (an action known as the micturition reflex); then a voluntary stimulus occurs, and the urine passes into the urethra and is expelled from the body.
Nephrotic syndrome (NS) is a condition characterized by marked proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia, hyperlipidemia, and edema. Although NS isn’t a disease itself, it results from a specific glomerular defect and indicates renal damage.
What causes Nephrotic Syndrome:
• Primary (idiopathic) glomerulonephritis (affecting children and adults)
• Diabetes mellitus
• Collagen vascular disorders
• Circulatory diseases
• Allergic reactions
• Hereditary nephritis
• Multiple myeloma and other neoplastic diseases
Chronic glomerulonephritis, a slowly progressive, non-infectious disease, is characterized by inflammation of the renal glomeruli. It remains subclinical until the progressive phase begins. By the time it produces symptoms, it’s usually irreversible. It results in eventual renal failure.
What causes it
• Membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis
• Membranous glomerulopathy
• Focal glomerulosclerosis
• Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis
Systemic causes include:
• lupus erythematosus
• Goodpasture’s syndrome
• hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The inflammation of the glomeruli that occurs with this condition results in sclerosis, scarring, and eventual renal failure.