Kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist, located just below the rib cage, one on each side of the spine. These two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 litres of blood to produce about 1 to 2 litres of urine.
Any damage to kidneys give rise to kidney diseases affecting proper functioning of kidney resulting accumulation of waste products and fluid build up in the body. Without treatment, the damage can get worse, and the kidneys may eventually stop working. That’s serious, and it can be life-threatening.
Kidney Disease can be categorized as: Acute Kidney Injury and Chronic Kidney Disease
Acute Kidney Injury
The main causes are;
Autoimmune diseases can also cause an acute kidney injury.
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common culprits of chronic kidney disease. Early detection and treatment can often keep chronic kidney disease from getting worse. When kidney disease progresses, it may lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life.
Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease
Most people may not have any severe symptoms until their kidney disease is advanced.
How is Chronic Kidney Disease Detected?
Kidney Disease is detected through ACR (Albumin to Creatinine Ratio) and GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) test.
ACR: ACR stands for “albumin-to-creatinine ratio. Urine is tested for albumin which is a type of protein. Our body needs protein but it should be in the blood, not in urine. Having protein in urine means that the kidneys are not filtering the blood well enough. Too much albumin in the urine is an early sign of kidney damage. If the urine test comes “positive” for protein, the test should be repeated to confirm the results. Three positive results over three months or more is a sign of kidney disease.
GFR: GFR ( glomerular filtration rate) is a measure of kidney function. It estimates how much blood passes through the glomeruli (tiny filters in the kidneys) in each minute.The blood will be tested for a waste product called creatinine that will give the measure of GFR. When the kidneys are damaged, they have trouble removing creatinine from the blood. GFR will determine what stage of kidney disease you have – there are 5 stages of Kidney Disease.
Can Kidney disease be treated?
Many kidney diseases can be treated successfully. Careful control of diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure can help prevent kidney disease or keep it away from getting worse. Treating high blood pressure with medications often helps to slow the progression of chronic kidney disease. Similarly kidney stones and urinary tract infections can usually be treated successfully.
Unfortunately, the exact causes of some kidney diseases are still unknown, and specific treatments are not yet available for them. Sometimes, chronic kidney disease may progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or kidney transplantation.