What is Kidney Disease and What Causes It?
What Is Kidney Disease?
Kidneys are bean-shaped organs that are essential to regulate overall health, including urinary function and the balance of electrolytes and blood pressure in the body. Kidneys naturally filter the blood and remove waste, which is then directed to the bladder. Kidneys produce urine to excrete waste and also reabsorb water, glucose, and amino acids.
Diseases of the kidney vary but may share a number of common symptoms, including renal cysts, chronic kidney disease, acute kidney injury, urinary tract infection, urinary tract obstruction, nephrolithiasis, and nephritic and nephrotic syndromes. Cancer can also affect the kidneys; renal cell carcinoma is the most common type of adult renal cancer.
Painful kidney stones can also plague the kidneys, although they are not normally considered harmful. Chronic kidney stones can lead to scar tissue formation; kidney stones may need to be broken up with an ultrasound treatment that allows smaller pieces to pass through the urinary tract.
What Causes Kidney Disease?
Different kidney conditions may have their own specific causes, but some of the most common contributing factors to kidney disease include autoimmune conditions, urinary tract infection, inflammation, toxin exposure, and congenital defects.