What are Some of the Most Common Kidney Problems?
Your kidneys filter out waste, chemicals, and fluids that your body doesn’t need. Some of the most common problems include kidney stones and kidney failure.
- Kidney Stones: Many people with kidney stones report the sudden onset of excruciating cramping and pain in their abdomen, lower back, or groin area. When chemicals don’t dissolve well and form crystals in your urine, the crystals can clump together into kidney stones that can’t pass easily through your urinary tract. Kidney stones can be caused by several factors, such as inadequate daily water consumption, elevated levels of calcium, oxalate, or uric acid in your urine, or urinary tract infections.
- Kidney Failure: When your kidneys can’t clean waste from your body, chemical imbalance and fluid buildup can occur. This leads to swelling, irregular heartbeat, and other complications. Acute kidney failure is usually caused by an infection, kidney inflammation, serious injury, ingestion of poison, or certain medications. Chronic kidney failure can be caused by diabetes, congenital kidney problems, kidney stones, or an enlarged prostate blocking the flow of urine.
- Kidney Cancer: There are different types of kidney cancers, such as transitional cell carcinoma — a kidney cancer arising from the tissue lining the hollow portion of your kidneys. Kidney cancer might be associated with DNA mutations, chemical toxicity, genetics, and other factors.
- Hydronephrosis: Hydronephrosis refers to the swelling of your kidney, usually due to a urine blockage that causes urine to pool in your kidneys. Hydronephrosis is often caused by a blood clot, kidney stone, tumor, or infection.
What Symptoms Indicate Kidney Problems?
Some of the signs and symptoms of kidney problems include:
- Hematuria, or blood in your urine
- A mass or lump in your abdominal area
- Pain in your side or lower back
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Fluid retention and swelling in your legs and feet
- General weakness
- Decreased urination
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you should visit the Associated Urologists of North Carolina.
How are Kidney Problems Treated?
How your kidney problems are treated depends on the type and severity of your condition and other factors. Your urologist might suggest:
- Healthy lifestyle changes, such as stress management, nutritional counseling, and exercise
- Specific medications, such as anti-inflammatories and antibiotics
- Treatments for kidney cancer, such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy
- Surgery when needed, such as a surgical procedure to remove a kidney stone
For kidney cancers like renal cell carcinoma, surgery is usually the best solution to remove cancerous tissue.
Kidney problems can lead to concerning complications. If you have an issue, protect your health by calling the Associated Urologists of North Carolina or scheduling an appointment online today.