Diseases Diseases

What you need to know about the types of kidney diseases

Published at 03/17/2012 20:28:32


Kidney diseases are disorders that affect the kidneys; these remove waste products, produce hormones, and regulate chemicals in blood. Major function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body and all the types of kidney diseases are related to these points somehow. Urine carries away the waste products and excess fluid from the body therefore their excess can lead to kidney diseases or may be a sign of them. The urine production involves complex steps of excretion and reabsorption etc. The function done by kidneys is regulating the body's metabolites. The hormones and vitamins that affect the function of other organs are produced by kidneys. For example red blood cell production is under controlled by kidneys. Several kidney diseases result in anemia therefore. Kidneys via its hormones help regulate blood pressure.


There are two kidneys, each about the size of a closed hand, at the lowest level of the rib cage and on either side of spine. Functioning units are called nephrons whose malfunctioning results in kidney diseases. The filtering unit of kidney is a nephron with tiny blood vessels, called a glomerulus, when blood enters the glomerulus, filtration and the remaining fluid passes along the tubule formed as urine. In the tubule, some chemicals are added or removed from filtered fluid, the final product being the urine we excrete. All the states of disturbed functioning result different types of kidney diseases.


Kidney diseases affect both kidneys, mostly. If the kidneys' ability is damaged by disease, waste products and excess fluid get accumulated inside the body, resulting in swelling and uremia. There are many different types of kidney diseases. These are hereditary, congenital or acquired.

Hereditary Disorders:
Both males and females can be affected by hereditary kidney diseases and which produce clinical symptoms from childhood. The most common condition is polycystic kidney diseases. Other hereditary conditions include AL port’s syndrome, hereditary nephritis, primary hyper-oxal-uria and cystinuria etc.

Congenital Disease:
Malformation of the genitourinary tract present on child birth in baby is congenital kidney diseases, usually leading to some type of obstruction which subsequently produces infection and/or destruction of kidney tissue. The destruction can eventually progress to chronic kidney failure.

Acquired kidney Diseases:
These diseases are enormous in number, generally called nephritis meaning inflammatory kidney diseases. The most common type of nephritis is glomerulonephritis and etiology covers a lot of reasons.

Kidney Stones:
Very commonly seen with sudden severe pain are kidney diseases of stones. Stone formation can be due to some inherited disorders, may be due to malformations or infectious causes, or may be without any prior problem. The pain can appear suddenly and in waves, and then disappear rapidly when the stone is passed.

Nephritic Syndrome:
Huge amount of protein loss in the urine along with low blood albumin levels, and elevated blood cholesterol and swelling or edema is nephritic kidney diseases. The reason can be primary disorder of the kidney or secondary to any illness in the body.

Blood Pressure / Hypertension:
This can be caused by kidney diseases or can be a result of a kidney disorder. Uncontrolled blood pressure changes may hasten the natural course of underlying kidney diseases. Same is the case of other systemic diseases for example diabetes mellitus and due to use of certain nephron toxic drugs and toxins.

Tips and comments

Causes and Risk Factors Symptoms of all types Kidney Diseases:
The causes are said to be unknown in several kidney diseases, but keeping a check on systemic diseases can reduce the risk of many types of kidney diseases.
Although symptoms are not prominent in kidney diseases until late but there are warning signs that indicate kidney diseases: Burning or difficulty in urinating is first one, increased frequency of urination and passage of blood in the urine, with puffy eyes or swelling in body and pain on back just beneath the ribs and altered blood pressure points to kidney diseases.