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Renal cancer is also known as hypernephroma, renal cell carcinoma (RCC), kidney cancer or renal adenocarcinoma. The kidneys are organs in your body that dispose off waste, while additionally regulating fluid balance. There are small tubes in the kidneys called tubules. These filter the blood, help in discharging waste, and make urine. RCC happens when cancer cells start to grow out of control in the lining of the tubules of the kidney. Renal cancer is a progressive disease that spreads to the lungs and the organs around it.
Medical experts do not know the exact cause behind renal cancer. It is most commonly found in men between the ages of 50 and 70. There are some risk factors and signs that indicate one’s possibility of having renal cancer and these are as follows:
- Family history of renal cancer
- Dialysis treatment
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Smoking cigarettes
- Polycystic kidney disease (a condition that causes cyst formation in the kidneys)
At a point when renal cancer is in its initial stages, patients might not see any symptoms. The symptoms are mainly seen in the later stages. Some of the most common symptoms are as follows:
- Blood in urine: Blood in urine is called hematuria. As indicated by the Renal Cancer Association, hematuria is the most widely recognized indication of kidney cancer. In case you have blood in your urine, you may see pink, rust or even a red staining.
- Lower back pain: The vast majority does not encounter pain until cancer is in later stages. Pain from renal cancer is felt on one side of the flank, the region over the pelvis, and beneath the ribs in the abdomen. This pain can go from a dull yearn to a sharp wound, frequently leaving the area blue. In case you have any sudden pain that continues for more than a couple of days, you need to see a specialist.
- A mass or lump: A mass or protuberance in the abdomen can be an indication of renal cancer. Kidney knots might be hard to feel since they are somewhere down in the abdomen. Once a bump is found, your specialist may arrange symptomatic tests such as an ultrasound or a CT scan. These tests may diagnose what your knot might be.
- Iron deficiency and fatigue: Weakness and a fall in your iron levels are the most common symptoms of any type of cancer. Cancer exhaustion is not quite the same as simply feeling tired.
- Weight reduction, loss of appetite and fever: Another normal side effect of cancer is sudden and startling weight reduction. This happens quickly without any excessive workouts or dieting. A person diagnosed with cancer can also face a loss of appetite. In fact, even their most loved food items can get to be unappealing. Frequent fever is yet another common symptoms among most cancer patients.
In case your specialist suspects that you may have renal cancer, they will take some information about your and family’s medical history. They will then do a physical exam. Discoveries that can show renal cancer include swelling or irregularities in the stomach area. In case of men, augmented veins in the scrotal sac (varicocele) may be found. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Nephrologist.
At a point when our bodies process the protein we eat, the procedure creates waste products. In kidneys, millions of tiny blood vessels act as filters since they have even tinier holes in them. As blood flows through these vessels, little molecules such as waste items may press through the gaps. These waste items turn out to be a part of the urine. Helpful substances, such as protein and red blood cells are too enormous to go through the gaps in the filter and stay in the blood.
Diabetes and kidneys: Diabetes can harm the kidneys. Abnormal amounts of glucose make the kidneys filter a lot of blood. After a couple of years, they begin to spill and helpful protein is thereby, lost in urine. Having low protein levels in the urine is called micro albuminuria.
Medication: When kidney disease is analyzed on time, during micro albuminuria, a few medications may keep kidney disease from getting worse. Having elevated levels of protein in the urine is called macro albuminuria. When kidney disease is looked up some other time during macro albuminuria, end-stage renal disease (ESRD) usually follows.
Causes: Strain on the organs may cause the kidneys to lose their filtering capacity. Waste items then begin to develop in the blood. Finally, the kidneys start to fail. This failure, ESRD, is intense. A patient with ESRD needs a kidney transplant or a blood filtration by a machine (dialysis).
Other complications: Individuals with diabetes will probably have other kidney-related issues such as bladder infections and nerve damages in the bladder.
Preventing complications: Not everybody with diabetes goes through a kidney diseases Elements that can impact kidney disease improvement include genetics, blood-sugar control and blood pressure. The more a person keeps diabetes and blood pressure under control, the lower the chances of getting a kidney disease.
Keeping your glucose level high can counteract diabetic kidney problems. Research has demonstrated that blood glucose control diminishes the danger of micro albuminuria by 33%. For individuals who suffer from micro albuminuria have now a reduced danger of advancing to macro albuminuria. Different studies have recommended that blood glucose control can reverse micro albuminuria.
Treatment: Essential treatments for kidney infection include control of blood glucose and blood pressure. Blood pressure dramatically affects the rate at which the condition progresses. Indeed, even a gentle increase in blood pressure can rapidly aggravate a kidney infection. Four approaches to bring down your blood pressure are:
- Shedding pounds
- Eating less salt
- Maintaining a strategic distance from liquor and tobacco
- Exercising regularly
A healthy kidney produces a hormone known as the erythropoietin. The latter assists the bone marrow to produce an adequate amount of RBC that carries oxygen to every nook and corner of the body. A damaged kidney results in less RBC production, thereby, creating a condition known as anaemia. The hemoglobin count in the blood reduces significantly in this condition.
Anaemia is characterized by shortness of breath, weakness and tiredness. It can affect sleep and a loss of appetite. A patient suffering from anaemia reports of frequent headaches and a faster heart rate. These symptoms also surface when a person suffers from chronic kidney diseases (CKD). The condition gets worse as the disease progresses.
A patient suffering from anaemia should be treated on time as there are many pitfalls of a lower hemoglobin level. The treatment will give instant relief from other symptoms that might have arrived with CKD. Doctors frequently prescribe Erythropoiesis Stimulating Agent (ESA) for patients suffering from CKD and suffering from anaemia due to the shortage of erythropoietin. ESAs can be injected through an injection or intravenously. These injections stimulate the bone marrow to produce more RBCs. However, studies have revealed that ESAs increase the chance of strokes, heart attacks and blood clots. Furthermore, they aggravate tumor growth and shorten life expectancy for cancer patients. People undergoing ESA treatment should have periodic check-ups to ensure that the hemoglobin count is normal and under control.
Iron count in the body has an important role in treating patients suffering from anaemia and CKD. In case the level of iron is too low in the body, ESAs fail to improve the condition of an anaemic patient. The ferritin count of a patient should be in the range of 100-800 mcg/L. One more test known as TSAT reveals the number of iron required to produce RBCs in the body. In case the iron count is less, doctors often suggest iron pills to bring the count to a more accepted level.
There could be other reasons for anaemia as well. A doctor might further investigate the level of B12 and folic acid present in the body. Even an inflammatory condition can lead to anaemia. A decreased count of any of the above mentioned ingredients can cause anaemia to a patient suffering from EKD.
Food items necessary to improve the condition
A healthy diet helps in improving the condition of an anaemic patient. Iron deficiency is best addressed by fish and beef. Food rich in vitamin C helps the body to absorb more iron in the body. Certain food items that block the entry of iron in the body include tea, milk, albumen (egg white) etc. Therefore, you should be strictly avoid these items from your diet.
Whenever we choose to undergo a surgery, there are a lot of questions that we try to seek answers for. Here's a list of things one must know before he or she opts for kidney donation!
What is the rate of recovery?
The recovery period of the donor is usually in the range of 5-7 days. However, it depends on how fast an individual recovers and what is the kind of procedure performed on the patient. It can greatly vary from person to person. The donor might feel an itching sensation and experience pain as the incision heals. Activities such as contact sports and heavy lifting are not advised, post 6 weeks of surgery.
How does the transplant affect the donor?
Living with one kidney is not unusual and it is possible to lead a normal life with some to no problem at all. The donor’s kidney has a tendency to increase in size after the transplant. This happens to make up for the lost kidney. While some physical exercise is healthy for the body, activities that require heavy body movement should be avoided. Donors are required to go through extensive medical check every six months to avoid any possible complications.
Does donating a kidney affect life expectancy?
Life expectancy does not decrease after kidney donation and the chance of the existing kidney failure is limited too. Studies have revealed that a donor has a tendency of developing a high level of blood pressure. Having said this, a thorough discussion with the transplant team should be done to discuss any possible complications that might occur post the surgery.
Mental state after kidney donation:
A donor can go through a mixed set of emotions after donating a kidney. Overwhelming joy, depression, relief and anxiety are some of the common emotions a donor goes through. Studies have shown that less than 1% of all donors show any signs of regret. On the contrary, more than 80% donors reveal that they would have done the donation anyways. The donation experience is generally positive. If, however, a donor is going through emotions he cannot handle, he should join a self-help group or report to a doctor.
Is there any side effect of kidney donation?
Apart from the scar a patient receives after the surgery, there aren’t too many complications. Having said this, there are tendencies to develop high blood pressure, proteinuria and a reduced functionality of the kidney, resulting in pain. Long-term diseases such as nerve damage, obstruction, and hernia can catch up as well.
Is there any dietary restriction?
It is entirely possible to go back to your old and regular diet. However, in the case of any complications, a patient might have to skip few things from the diet. It is a good idea to get a clear picture about the dietary requirements from the kidney transplant team.
Does donation hinder in getting pregnant?
The medical advice from a doctor is that it is not a good idea to become pregnant till at least six weeks post the surgery. However, it is entirely possible to get pregnant after kidney donation. But it should be ensured that a patient receives very good prenatal care to reduce any possible complications. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Nephrologist.
People with chronic kidney disease notice that their bones tend to get weaker and more slender. They become painful and are bound to break more easily as a consequence of mineral loss. The most common kind of bone infections happen when:
- There is a change in the balance between two essential minerals in your body - calcium and phosphate, which prompts loss of calcium from your bones.
- Four small glands (parathyroid organs), which regulate calcium in your body, turn out to be excessively active.
- There is a change in the way your body utilizes vitamin D, a mineral that is vital for healthy bones.
Every bone disease affects bones in different ways.
- Phosphate is found in many food items you eat. Your kidneys normally eject whatever is not required in the body. At the point when your kidneys have stopped functioning properly, phosphate may develop in your blood. Excess phosphate in your blood prompts loss of calcium from your bones, which has a tendency to weaken them. Eating food items that are low in phosphate can keep phosphate from building up in your blood.
- Since phosphate stays in your body when your kidneys are no more ready to remove it, four small glands in your neck (parathyroid organs) turn out to be excessively active. When this happens, calcium is expelled from your bones over a long period of time, making them weak.
- Vitamin D is a vital vitamin, which affects the balance in the calcium content of your body. Typically, vitamin D is processed into a more soluble state by the kidneys and can be utilized by the body. In case your kidneys have deteriorated, they can no more do this critical job. Luckily, the dynamic type of vitamin D is accessible in the form of medications that can be prescribed by your specialist, if necessary. In case you have a kidney disease, it is vital to find a way to prevent bone illness. Some of the solutions are as follows:
- Limit the amount of phosphorus you take in every day. Ask your specialist or dietitian to let you know how much phosphorus you need to have. You can likewise request a list of high-phosphorus food items.
- Take a phosphate folio. This is a medicine that you bring with dinners to keep your body from taking in the phosphorus that originates from your food and beverages. This can keep phosphorus from winding up in your blood.
- Take a calcitriol supplement. Your kidneys make calcitriol with the help of vitamin D that you get from food and the sun. When your kidneys are not working, they can't make calcitriol. A man-made type of calcitriol can help your body utilize the calcium and phosphorus it needs.
- Exercise can make your bones more strong and keep them from breaking.
- Try not to smoke or use tobacco. It can aggravate bone disease.
- Take your medications the way your specialist instructs you to and do not skip dialysis medicines.
- Even after changing your diet and taking medicines, if you still have an excess of phosphorus in your blood, your specialist may propose that you undergo further dialysis. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Nephrologist.
The structure responsible for production, transportation, storage and excretion of urine form the urinary tract. Kidney, ureters, bladder and urethra are structures involved in urine formation and excretion process. Kidney filters nearly 3 ounces of blood, removes waste materials every minute. When these get infected with entry of any micro organism or any other pathological condition, then the person gets urinary tract infection (UTI).
Causes and symptoms
Urinary tract infections are more common in women than men because of the small size of the urethra (4cms) and also because of the squatting position of voiding. Entry of organisms like bacteria, viruses and fungi are the major cause of UTI. The person may experience burning sensation and pain when voiding, fever is indicated when the infection has reached the kidneys or prostate glands in male. Other symptoms include pain in back, ribs, nausea and vomiting.
- Drink plenty of water nearly 2- 3litres of water per day and urinate when you feel the need , don’t control or resist voiding when you feel the urge as this may give room for the organisms to grow well
- Urinate after sexual intercourse. change the birth control measures if UTI is a recurrent problem
- Wash front to back, wipe off thoroughly after emptying the bladder so as to prevent the entry of organisms into the urethra.
- Avoid wearing tight fitting clothes. Always prefer cotton inner garments and loose fitting clothes so that air entry keeps the area moist and free from bacteria.
- Cranberry juice works best and it is the natural treatment for bladder infections. Cranberries have a special substance that can avoid the entry of E.coli into the bladder, but it does not have much effect on recurrent UTI infections. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist.
What is a Urinalysis?
A urinalysis is a laboratory test of urine commonly referred to by medical professionals as a “UA.” The urine is evaluated for the presence of certain chemicals. A microscopic exam of the urine is also done to look for abnormalities.
A urinalysis is indicated for evaluating pets with urinary abnormalities such as increased urine production, increased urinary frequency, straining to urinate, bloody urine or abnormal color to the urine. This test can also be helpful in cases of unexplained fever, loss of appetite or weight loss. A urinalysis is often done when indicated by the results of an X-ray, results of blood tests indicating a problem with the urinary system or as a follow up to physical examination when abnormalities are detected.
Any evaluation for health or illness should include a urinalysis. Urinalysis results can give an idea of hydration and kidney function; it can also indicate inflammation or infections in the urinary tract.
There is no real contraindication to performing this test. Even normal results help determine health or exclude certain diseases.
Why Is It Done?
Perhaps you might have noticed that even when you go for your routine health checkup, the physician would suggest you to undergo a urine examination. Similarly, when you approach the doctor for a certain specific ailment, then also the physician may suggest you to undergo a urine test. This test is necessary because urine provides considerable data to the physician to ascertain the cause of your ailment. Urine examination is very important as it indicates the state of your general health. A urinalysis is done for several reasons:
- To check your overall health: Your doctor may recommend a urinalysis as part of a routine medical exam, pregnancy checkup, pre-surgery preparation, or on hospital admission to screen for a variety of disorders, such as diabetes, kidney disease and liver disease.
- To diagnose a medical condition: Your doctor may suggest a urinalysis if you're experiencing abdominal pain, back pain, frequent or painful urination, blood in your urine, or other urinary problems. A urinalysis may help diagnose the cause of these symptoms.
- To monitor a medical condition: If you've been diagnosed with a medical condition, such as kidney disease or a urinary tract disease, your doctor may recommend a urinalysis on a regular basis to monitor your condition and treatment.
Other uses of urine examination:
Urine examination or analysis is also called as “urinalysis”. The urine examination reveals early signs of various diseases including ailments like diabetes and kidney diseases. Further, if you are suffering from any infection, the urine analysis will be helpful in determining the type of infection. It also helps in determining pregnancy.
Process of filtration:
As you know, it is the kidneys, which throw out urine. Further, urine contains waste materials removed from the blood by a process of filtration performed by the kidney. In fact, even the health of the kidney can be assessed by a urine examination.
Some of the other salient features of urine analysis are briefly described here:
- In the case of patients suffering from chronic kidney ailment, periodical urine examination will help the physician ascertain the health of the kidney. For example, presence of protein beyond a certain level would be a pointer to evaluate the health of your kidney. Interestingly, in some cases, a few people may release excess protein only occasionally. Therefore, during the course of urine examination, they might not have released excess protein. It is for this reason that the doctor may suggest repeated urine analysis to evaluate the health of the kidney.
- The process of urine analysis is normally grouped into three, namely visual colour examination of the urine, dip stick examination and microscopic examination. The type of examination normally depends on the ailment suspected. Further, depending on the results of urine analysis, the physician may suggest you to undergo various other urine tests.
- Sometimes the accuracy of the results of urine analysis can be affected because of certain medicines that you may be taking or dehydration and for various other reasons. In such cases, the physician may suggest you to repeat the urine examination after a few days.
In some cases, the pathologist may provide certain instructions before collecting your urine for a thorough examination. For example, you may be asked to go empty stomach or a few hours after the meals and so on. Follow these instructions scrupulously; after all, instructions are for the sake of your health and its benefits. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist.
Chronic kidney disease, also called chronic kidney failure, describes the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body.
In the early stages of chronic kidney disease, you may have few signs or symptoms. Chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired.
Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant.
The kidney has multiple functions, and one of it is to act like a filter and remove out waste substances. These filtered out substances are excreted through the urine.
Features of kidney diseases:
- Infections usually start with symptoms like burning with urination, change in colour of urine, and low abdominal pain.
- Kidney stones are usually identified by their characteristic pain in the sides of the back
- Smaller stones up to about 4 mm are passed through urine on their own.
- However, for larger stones, external shock waves are used to break them into smaller ones, which are then eliminated by the kidneys.
How Can I Prevent Kidney Disease?
The key to prevention or delay of severe kidney disease is early detection and aggressive intervention -- while there's still time to slow down the progression to kidney failure. Medical care with early intervention can change the course of chronic kidney disease and help prevent the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.
Diabetes and high blood pressure account for two thirds of all cases of chronic kidney disease. By aggressively managing diabetes and high blood pressure with diet, exercise, and medications, you may be able to prevent kidney failure and help keep as much kidney function as possible.
- To prevent urinary tract infections, proper hygiene is very important.
- Thorough washing of the external urinary tract and use of clean underwear and toilet facilities is very important.
- Intravenous injections of pain relievers to help in pain control immediately on seeing the patient. If pain persists, an additional shot may also be required.
- Patients also have accompanying nausea and vomiting and may require antiemetics to control these.
- At the time of discharge, these medications can be continued at home.
- Hydration is very important, so drink at least 3 litres of water.
- Urine should be strained to ensure the stones have been passed
- Monitoring urine output including quantity and colour for any changes is also important. If urine is turbid, water intake should be increased.
- Avoid oxalate-rich foods. Most kidney stones are composed of calcium oxalate, and therefore foods rich in oxalate should be avoided. Beets, spinach, okra, tea, chocolate, soy, etc., should be minimised
- Reducing intake of salt and animal protein also helps in preventing recurrence. Legumes are a good option for proteins.
- Calcium supplements, if being taken, may need to be reduced or stopped. This can be managed by including enough calcium in the diet.
Chronic kidney disease: This is seen as a side effect of hypertension and diabetes.
- Constant monitoring of both BP and sugar levels is very essential.
- Keep cholesterol levels under check as suggested by your doctor
- Medicines should be taken as prescribed and not altered without medical supervision
- Quit smoking if the habit is still being continued
- Improve physical activity levels, which will also help control BP, sugar, and cholesterol levels
- Weight monitoring is essential to keep check, not just on kidneys but overall health.
- Kidney diseases put a person in a vicious cycle of health problems, so early detection and prevention are advised.
Here are some self-tips to prevent kidney diesease:
- Get Tested Regularly - At your next checkup, and at least within the next year if you haven't had these tests done:
- Ask for a urine test to see if you have excess protein, glucose, or blood in the urine.
- Ask for a blood pressure reading
- Ask for a fasting blood glucose test
- Ask for a creatinine test.
- Control Diabetes - If you have diabetes, work with your health care provider to keep your blood sugar levels under the best possible control. A program of diet, regular exercise, glucose monitoring, and medications to control blood sugars and protect kidney function can help.
- Control High Blood Pressure - If you have high blood pressure, work with your health care provider to get your blood pressure within target ranges. A program of diet, regular exercise, and medications can help.
Chronic kidney disease or CKD is the decreased function of the function of the kidney for a minimum of three months or more. In this the end stage renal disease usually refers to the end of the kidney function where the kidneys work for less than 15% of what they are supposed to. The kidneys play a vital role in the human body and if they do not function properly then a person can die. The functioning of many organs depends on the kidneys. However, the main function of the kidneys is to remove the products and regulate blood and water, control blood pressure, promote healthy and strong bones, and produce hormones.
Here are 5 facts about kidney disease you should know about:
1. Causes of the kidney disease: There are two main common causes of the end-stage kidney disease. These are preventable causes. These are diabetes and high blood pressure, but then kidney disease can be caused by other inherited diseases such as infection, trauma or polycystic kidney disease.
2. Serious stages: The kidney disease has five stages and stage 5 is known as the end stage renal disease; this is the point where patients usually need dialysis or kidney transplant to lead a sane life. The stages of kidney disease are:
Stage 1 – Slight kidney disease
Stage 2 – Mild decrease in kidney function
Stage 3 – Moderate decrease in kidney function
Stage 4 – Severe decrease in kidney function
Stage 5 – End stage renal disease
3. Detection of the disease: Kidney disease is usually difficult to detect because of the presence of very few symptoms. Age, gender along with the blood test is one way to determine information regarding kidney function. The people who are at a risk of getting kidney disease are:
- Over the age of 55 years
- People who suffer from hypertension and diabetes
- Ethnic groups such as Asians, Africans, Americans, Pacific Islanders and Hispanics
4. Signs and symptoms: CKD is usually considered to be a silent disease and many people don’t know that they are suffering from the disease. The signs and symptoms of the disease are:
- Fatigue and weakness
- Nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite
- Numbness and headaches in hand and feet
- Frequent urination
5. Renal replacement treatment: This is the treatment for the end stage of the kidney disease. Dialysis involves the replacement of some part of the lost function of the kidneys and is usually continued throughout life. There are 2 types of dialysis:
- Hemodialysis: This cleans the blood via an artificial kidney which is hooked to the machine
- Peritoneal dialysis: This removes the excess water and waste products and cleans the blood of the body by using the peritoneal cavity as a filter. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an urologist.
The 4 types of Kidney stones and their common symptoms
Defined as hard and small mineral deposits that develop inside your kidney, kidney stones are made up of acid salts and minerals. The causes of this disease are not well-defined, although risk factors include drinking very little amounts of water and having a diet rich in sodium, protein and oxalate (chocolate and green leafy foods for example). However, knowing the type of kidney stone you suffer from can help ascertain the cause.
Here are the common types of Kidney stones.
This type of kidney stone is usually a response to certain kind of infection, such as a urinary tract infection for example. Characterised by rapid growth and a large size, struvite stones can develop without any warning signs.
These are the most common type and are caused by a diet rich in oxalate. Risk factors for calcium stones include a diet consisting of plenty of nuts, chocolates and certain fruits and vegetables; metabolic disorders, high doses of vitamin d and intestinal bypass surgery, all of which can increase the amounts of calcium or oxalate in your urine, indicating the development of kidney stones.
Those individuals with a hereditary disorder that causes their kidneys to produce certain amino acids (cystinuria to be precise) in excess are most likely to get cystine stones.
Uric acid stones
These are common in those whose diets are lacking in water or those who suffer from the excess fluid loss. People with a high protein diet and those who suffer from gout are also at risk. Genetic factors play a major role as well in increasing your risk of getting uric acid stones.
Apart from these, there are other rarer types of kidney stones that can also arise depending on a combination of an individual's lifestyle and genetic make-up.
However, to determine whether you're suffering from any of the aforementioned types of kidney stones, you must first know its common symptoms, which are:
- Excruciating pain in your sides, and back, especially below your ribs
- Feelings of pain in the groin and the lower parts of your abdomen
- Intense and fluctuating pain that comes and goes in waves
- Pain while urinating
- Urine that is red, brown or pink in colour
- Urine that's cloudy or has a foul odour
- Vomiting and nausea
- Constant urge to urinate
- Increased frequency of urination
- Urinating in small amounts
- Chills and fever in case of an infection
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a nephrologist and ask a free question.