Kidney Issues

Kidney Cancer

Several types of cancer can develop in the kidneys. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC), the most common form, accounts for approximately 85% of all cases. In RCC, cancerous (malignant) cells develop in the lining of the kidney’s tubules and grow into a mass called a tumor. In most cases, a single tumor develops, although more than one tumor can develop within one or both kidneys. Early diagnosis of kidney cancer is important. As with most types of cancer, the earlier the tumor is discovered, the better a patient’s chances for survival.

Common symptoms of kidney cancer may include:

  • Blood in the urine (The urine typically appears to be deep red or rusty in color – hematuria)
  • Abdominal mass or lump
  • Fever
  • Hypertension
  • Pain in the side or lower back
  • Persistent fatigue
  • Rapid, unexplained weight loss
  • Swelling in the legs or ankles

Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is any disease or disorder that affects the function of the kidneys. Kidney disease will not normally show any symptoms until it has advanced. Although chronic kidney disease sometimes results from primary diseases of the kidneys themselves, the major causes are diabetes and high blood pressure. Cystic kidney disease describes several conditions in which fluid-filled cysts form in the kidneys. Cysts generally develop in weak segments of the tubules that carry urine from the glomeruli. The cyst’s growth displaces healthy kidney tissue. The kidneys expand to accommodate the cyst, which can weigh as much as 20 pounds.

Higher-than-normal risk for developing chronic kidney disease, If you have any of the following conditions:

  • Diabetes mellitus type 1 or 2
  • High blood pressure or High cholesterol
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Amyloidosis
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Systemic Lupus erythematosus
  • Vascular diseases such as arteritis, vasculitis, or fibromuscular dysplasia
  • Vesicoureteral reflux (a urinary tract problem in which urine travels the wrong way back toward the kidney)
  • Require regular use of anti-inflammatory medications
  • A family history of kidney disease

Kidney disease leads to kidney failure. Kidney failure can be fatal. All symptoms should be taken seriously.

  • Swelling – entire body may begin to swell as the kidneys fail.
  • Breath/Taste Changes – metallic taste in mouth or bad breath when kidneys begin to fail.
  • Feeling Cold – Kidney disease can lead to anemia, which will make patients feel cold all of the time.
  • Pain – Some patients complain of pain in the back or side that corresponds to the affected kidney.
  • Shortness of Breath – excess fluid buildup can lead to fluid in the lungs.

Kidney Stones

A kidney stone is a hardened mineral deposits made up of tiny crystals that form in the kidney. One or more stones can be in the kidney or ureter at the same time. Kidney stones can form when urine contains too much of certain substances. These substances can create small crystals that become stones. The biggest risk factor for kidney stones is dehydration. Kidney stones may not produce symptoms until they begin to move down the tubes (ureters) through which urine empties into the bladder. When this happens, the stones can block the flow of urine out of the kidneys. This causes swelling of the kidney or kidneys, causing pain. The pain is usually severe.

The main symptom is severe pain that starts suddenly and may go away suddenly:

  • Pain in the belly area or side of the back or an Abdominal Mass
  • Abnormal urine color or Blood in the urine
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary Urgency or Urinary Hesitancy
  • Night Time Urination
  • Pain In Testicle

Ureteral Stones

Stones (calculi) are hard masses that form anywhere in the urinary tract and may cause pain, bleeding, obstruction of the flow of urine, or an infection. Kidney stones are rock like masses within the urinary tract formed by the crystallization of various elements excreted in the urine. Kidney stones form within the collecting duct of the kidneys, where urine is first formed. They can cause pain when the stones block the flow of urine. When kidney stones travel to the ureters (tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder) they become ureteral stones.

Symptoms:

  • Ureteral stones are more likely to cause pain and discomfort than kidney stones
  • Excruciating pain in the area between the ribs and hips

Kidney Tumors

Kidney tumors, also known as renal tumors, are growths that can be benign or malignant (cancerous). Several types of cancer can develop in the kidneys. In most cases, a single tumor develops, although more than one tumor can develop within one or both kidneys. Treatment usually involves surgical removal of the kidney, ureter, and portion of the bladder connecting to the ureter. Depending on the stage of the cancer, chemotherapy and radiation may be used as adjuvant treatments. The early stages of a kidney tumor may generate no symptoms at all. As the tumor grows and the condition progresses, the tumor may begin to exhibit symptoms.

Symptoms:

  • Pressure put on other organs and the pain associated with the location of the tumor
  • Hard lump that appears on the abdomen or Swelling in the abdomen
  • Larger than normal veins appearing at the surface of the abdomen
  • Fatigue &/or loss of appetite
  • Feel achy and in general poor health