You have two kidneys, but can survive with just one if you have kidney problems. Your internal medicine specialist at Century Medical and Dental Center in Downtown Brooklyn first has to diagnose your kidney issues before offering treatment. There are many ailments that can affect your kidneys, and treating kidney problems is more successful with early detection. So call your doctor soon for an evaluation of your kidneys.
Your kidneys can stop functioning properly for several reasons. You may have chronic kidney disease, which is only now starting to show pronounced symptoms. If this is true, it means the damage to your kidneys has accumulated over the years to the point that it’s now so bad, that it can’t be reversed. In time, the condition of your kidneys worsens, leading to total kidney failure.
Alternatively, you may have a kidney infection. In this scenario, bacteria travel up from the urethra, through the bladder and into your kidneys. A kidney infection requires immediate medical assistance.
Another kidney problem involves kidney stones. This common ailment, more likely in men than women, can cause back pain, especially lower back pain. Most kidney stones are small and eventually pass when you urinate. But some can get stuck in the ureter, which can cause pain and sometimes blood to leak out while you urinate. Visit your doctor at Century Medical and Dental Center to get effective kidney stones treatment in Brooklyn.
Causes of Kidney Problems
Diabetes and hypertension are the leading causes of kidneys that develop problems. Obesity, cardiovascular disease and smoking also stress your kidneys. If you’re over 60 years old and are African American, Hispanic, Native American or Asian, you are considered a high-risk candidate.
Heredity may also mark you for kidney problems. If your parents, siblings or other close relatives have suffered from kidney problems, your risks increase. Other medical conditions that can harm your kidneys include:
- Glomerulonephritis, a type of inflammation inside your kidneys
- Interstitial nephritis, a different internal kidney inflammation
- Polycystic kidney disease, in which cysts form inside your kidneys
- Enlarged prostrate, which may stop your kidneys from voiding waste
- Vesicoureteral reflux, in which urine flows back toward your kidneys
- Recurrent kidney infections that cause inflammation and other issues
- Autoimmune disease like lupus, which can cause kidney failure
- Birth defects such as kidney dysplasia, which usually affects just one kidney
- Hepatitis C, which can cause kidney disease
Symptoms of Kidney Problems
When you feel pain in your side around your middle back or lower back area, it’s time to visit your internal medicine doctor. Depending on your other symptoms, you may have just a urinary tract infection, or it may signal a more serious kidney infection. Bleeding in the kidneys or blood clots also cause kidney pain.
Getting the appropriate kidney pain treatment requires an accurate diagnosis that identifies the exact cause behind the pain. Signs your kidneys aren’t working normally include:
- Persistent itching
- Muscle cramps
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Swelling in your feet and ankles
- Your bladder creates too much or too little urine
- Shortness of breath
- Trouble sleeping
- Fatigue and weakness
- Chest pain
- Cloudy or smelly urine
Complications Due to Failing Kidneys
Your kidneys help maintain equilibrium in other parts of your body. When they fail, other health issues start developing. Common medical conditions often associated with kidney problems include gout, anemia and osteoporosis. When you have kidney problems, you may suffer from ailments such as:
- Erectile dysfunction
- Loss of sex drive
- Reduced fertility
- Pulmonary edema
- Decrease in your immune response
- Complications during pregnancy
- Damage to your central nervous system
- Fluid build-up
Untreated, minor kidney problems can develop into more serious health issues, such as a kidney abscess, blood poisoning or emphysematous pyelonephritis, a serious infection of a kidney. If you suspect you’re having kidney problems, see your Downtown Brooklyn doctor for tests.
Diagnosing the Problem
Your doctor takes a complete family history to rule out hereditary traits. Tell your doctor if you have a sexually transmitted disease, such as genital warts. Make sure you relate how often you suffer from urinary tract infections. After a physical examination, you’ll likely have to take some diagnostic tests, such as:
- Blood tests that include glomerular filtration rate
- Urine tests
- Ultrasound sonograms or CT scans
- Kidney biopsy
Best Treatment Options for Your Kidneys
Oral medication is the best method for how to treat a kidney infection. Although drinking water can keep many kidney problems at bay, you should train yourself to urinate as soon as you feel the urge. It’s also a good idea to urinate immediately after having sex.
Chronic kidney disease treatment involves controlling your diabetes and blood pressure. Your doctor also tracks your cholesterol and triglycerides. Consider losing weight and exercising at least 30 minutes every day. Your doctor may put you on a low-sodium, low-protein, low-fat diet to help reduce the work for your kidneys.
If the damage to your kidneys is severe, your kidneys can stop functioning entirely. Dialysis takes the place of your kidneys, but it’s a costly and time-consuming process. You may need a kidney transplant to replace the defective one. You have two kidneys keep them in top shape by contacting your medical practitioner at Century Medical and Dental Center.