Facts On An Atrophic Kidney

If you are having painful problems with your kidney, you might have an atrophic kidney. This condition happens when there is a loss of nephrons or poor circulation leading to the kidney. It can shrink the kidney’s size and it can also shrink the blood vessels surrounding the kidney. An atrophic kidney can mimic a urinary tract disease because it can be difficult or impossible to urinate normally. So people who suffer from an atrophic kidney can have the exact same symptoms.

The kidneys have a single function in the body and that is to produce urine. They are paired organs and they are essential for maintaining the urinary system. They have secondary functions that regulate electrolytes and blood pressure and balance acids. The kidneys excrete waste when they produce urine and they absorb helpful amino acids and glucose. They also aid in the production of hormones within the body. Kidneys receive blood from the renal arteries and when this blood is interrupted for any reason an atrophic kidney can be the result. The kidneys transport urine through the ureter to the bladder and the bladder holds the urine until a person has the urge to use the bathroom.

The nephron is a functional part of the kidney. It regulates water and salt and it filters the blood. It takes the nutrients it needs, while turning the rest into urine. A human kidney can contain up to one million nephrons and they are responsible for eliminating wastes from within the body. They regulate blood pressure and blood volume and they also control PH levels in the body. Nephrons and their functions are impossible to live without. When there is a problem relating to these nephrons or to the kidney an atrophic kidney can be a result.

An atrophic kidney can be caused by a number of things, the most common being an obstruction or mass causing damage. But it can also be from an infection, problems with the nephrons or renal disease. When this condition occurs a thinning of the renal parenchyma can happen along with the shrinking of the kidney. In some cases, the kidney can actually become larger but the kidney functions might still be impaired. Atrophy can also be caused by a urinary tract obstruction.

A urinary tract obstruction is a result of pressure on the renal tissue and the compression of the arteries and veins. When this happens the symptoms can be similar to a urinary tract infection. The person suffering with this condition can have trouble urinating and it can be painful and contain small amounts of blood. They can have a frequent urge to urinate but when they do use the bathroom, only a small amount of urine is produced. Fatigue and a slight fever might also be seen. Even after the mass or obstruction is surgically removed, the sufferer can still have an atrophic kidney because of the damage that is already done.

After being treated for bacterial nephritis a condition called post inflammatory atrophy can damage a kidney. The kidneys both can start to decrease in size and they can also start to waste away. Renal papillary necrosis accompanies the nephritis but it often goes unrecognized because of the contrast in the excretions. Usually after the kidney starts to recover, the doctor will notice that there is an abnormality with the kidneys pertaining to the necrosis.

There are a few things you can do to have a healthier kidney. Avoid too much alcohol or soda pop and drink more water on a daily basis. Recently, doctors are seeing a link in people who have sleep apnea and kidney problems. If you are suffering with either of these conditions consult a doctor about what to do next.


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