What are kidney diseases?
The kidneys are a pair of bean shaped organs which are situated right at the bottom of the human rib cage. Each kidney is on either side of the spine.
The essence of healthy kidney functioning lies in the fact that they help filter out excess water, toxins and other impurities from the blood stream and the system. These toxic substances are then stored inside the bladder, ultimately to be excreted out of the body through urination. A healthy set of kidneys also regulate sodium, potassium and pH levels in the body. Hormones that control blood pressure and the synthesis of RBCs are also produced by the kidneys. They activate a certain type of Vitamin D that makes calcium absorption by the body easier.
Kidney problems can be many and sundry. Kidney damage can be caused by conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and other underlying chronic health issues. If the diseases worsen over time, the kidneys may wear out and stop functioning completely; a scenario that would warrant dialysis to perform the same functions. However, dialysis can’t remedy or reverse the damage caused to the kidneys, but can certainly prolong one’s life.
Causes and types of kidney problems/diseases
1Chronic kidney disease
This is the most common of them all. Normally caused as a result of hypertension, this is a chronic condition that usually doesn’t improve over time. High blood pressure ups the pressure put on the glomeruli (small cleansing blood vessels of the kidneys). With time, increasing pressure completely damages these vessels, thus degrading kidney functioning. After considerable damage, the only option left would be the need to go for dialysis. Dialysis performs the same functions the kidneys did. Kidney replacement is another alternative in this regard. One of the major causes of kidney diseases is diabetes.