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A Discussion About the Types of Kidney Disease

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There are generally five main types of kidney disease; primary kidney failure, secondary kidney failure, congenital (developmental) kidney failure, and chronic (xerotic) kidney failure. Occasionally one of these can be a complication of another disorder or kidney condition. Primary kidney failure occurs when there is no available dialysis or a kidney transplant. Symptoms include:


A drop in potassium levels (hypokalemia) is one of the first signs. With more severe cases, there may be an increase in urine output, blood pressure, or both. There is also an increased chance of heart failure. Symptoms of this kidney damage include: weakness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever. A decreased level of consciousness may occur as well.



If you have primary kidney failure, you may develop secondary kidney failure. If you do not receive dialysis or a transplant, the kidneys gradually fail due to lack of oxygen to the organ. It is possible for them to start functioning again, but it takes many years. Some individuals with renal disorders develop diabetes, especially Type II diabetes. The kidneys are the main source of energy for the body; therefore, if the kidneys do not work properly, the body does not get enough energy. This could result in weight loss, thirst, and a feeling of being sick.



Some of the tests to determine whether someone has developed diabetes include fasting plasma glucose, homeostatic hyperglycemia, and serum creatinine. These tests will indicate if insulin is needed to prevent the cells from deteriorating. A kidney transplant is one method of treating kidney diseases. However, there are some side effects to this treatment and some types of kidney disease cannot be reversed with a transplant.


When your doctor suspects that you have kidney disease, he will perform a series of tests, including blood and urine tests. They will monitor your kidney function to see how well your kidneys are working. They will also perform an ultrasound to look at the inside of your abdomen. Your doctor may also order some tests to see if you have a family history of kidney disease or kidney failure. Family history indicates that there is a good possibility that you will have problems with kidney function.


Kidneys control the amount of fluid that is in the body. Therefore, they allow the body to maintain its fluid balance. Each kidney has two pools of fluid-one to store electrolytes and one to release electrolytes into the bloodstream. The filtering of the urine removes the waste that is not passable through the urine. The reabsorption of the fluids occurs by passing the waste along blood vessels and tubules. One of the two pools of fluid will be overactive, resulting in damage to the cells and deterioration of the kidneys.


Kidney disease can cause various symptoms, depending on the type of kidney disorder. Kidney infections may develop into ureteral stones and nephrotuberculosis. Chronic dehydration may develop into icterus or hematuria. Renal failure may develop into cardiomyopathy, or inadequate pumping action of the heart.


If these symptoms do not show themselves for more than a couple of days, they are not likely to indicate a problem with kidney function. However, if these symptoms do appear after a period of two or more weeks, it is very important to have it checked out by a doctor. Acute kidney injury (AKI) may develop when the patient has to use dialysis repeatedly or if he/she has experienced kidney failure previously. This is a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. Anyone who experiences acute kidney injury should seek immediate medical attention.


In patients who suffer from dialysis, kidney failure often develops because of a drop in blood pressure or inadequate nutrient intake due to insufficient water intake. Patients who cannot drink enough water or have prolonged dialysis can develop kidney diseases such as renal calculi and end-stage renal failure. Patients with AKI can also develop calcium stones. However, kidney diseases that have no early symptoms can still lead to kidney failure and kidney damage if dialysis does not improve. For instance, non-prevention kidney failure is associated with the use of dialysis, and patients with non-prevention kidney failure cannot take the medications necessary to prevent kidney damage.


There are types of kidney disease that affect only the bladder, testes, lungs, heart and some parts of the nervous system, such as the spinal cord. These are called primary and secondary conditions. When the kidneys are damaged from chronic conditions, patients may suffer from chronic kidney disease for the rest of their lives, even if the symptoms are relieved through treatment.



The symptoms of chronic kidney disease usually manifest later in the course of the disease, after years of untreated kidney damage. Some of these diseases include cystic fibrosis, childhood diabetes, congenital heart defects, kidney stones and some forms of cancer.


Patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing kidney disease. The most common type of kidney disease occurs when the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin to get glucose from food and transfer it to the bloodstream, resulting in diabetes. Chronic type I diabetes involves the pancreas not producing enough insulin and usually requires frequent injections of insulin. In cases of type II diabetes, which is considered the adult version of juvenile diabetes, the pancreas is either unable to produce sufficient insulin or produces too much insulin, both of which are factors in the increased risk of kidney disease.