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Kidney inflammation, also known as nephritis, commonly occurs after an infection or as a result of an autoimmune disease, which may lead to conditions such as proteinuria or hematuria. This condition can occur in patients of all ages, although children and adults tend to be affected by different causes. In children, inflammation of the kidneys often occurs after an infection of streptococcus bacteria, while adults are affected as a result of vasculitis, pneumonia, hepatitis or other conditions.
Nephritis often causes symptoms such as swelling, reduced urine frequency, headaches, drowsiness and high blood pressure, although some patients may not notice any symptoms at all before the condition resolves itself.
Some patients may require treatment to restore normal kidney function and reduce the risk of permanent damage. This may include dietary changes that limit salt, potassium, protein and fluid intake, as well as anti-inflammatory medications. For severe cases, dialysis may be needed temporarily to provide adequate kidney functioning. Your doctor will determine which type of treatment is most appropriate based on a thorough evaluation of your individual condition.
Hematuria is the presence of red blood cells in your urine. There are two types of hematuria: gross, which is visible to the eye, and microscopic, which is visible only under the microscope. Microscopic hematuria is most often discovered as part of a routine medical exam.
Bleeding can occur at any location along the urinary tract. This includes the kidneys, ureter, bladder, prostate (in men) and urethra. Hematuria can indicate an infection, a kidney or bladder stone, or urinary tract cancer. Often no specific cause of hematuria can be found. Since hematuria may be caused by a serious underlying condition, it is important for patients to see their doctor if they are experiencing blood in their urine.
To determine the cause of hematuria, your doctor may order a series of diagnostic tests such as urinalysis, blood test, kidney imaging such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan or an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), or bladder imaging using a cystoscope to image the inside of the bladder.
The treatment for hematuria depends upon its cause as well as the patient's condition, symptoms and medical history. There is no treatment for the specific cause of hematuria, and instead relies on treatment of the underlying condition, which may include medication, dietary changes or more advanced procedures for certain conditions.
Hypokalemia and hyperkalemia are common conditions involving abnormal levels of potassium in the blood that can lead to problems with the function of the muscles, heart and nerves. These conditions tend to develop as a result of kidney failure, diuretic medications or other medications and other factors that can affect potassium levels.
Hypokalemia (low potassium) often causes weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps and arrhythmia, while hyperkalemia (high potassium) may cause nausea, fatigue, weakness and tingling in certain areas of the body. These symptoms may not be noticeable until potassium levels significantly change.
Treatment for hypokalemia and hyperkalemia aims to restore normal potassium levels, which may include dietary changes, supplements or treatment of an underlying condition. Dialysis may be performed to treat kidney failure and as a result can also restore a healthy balance of potassium. Your doctor will determine which type of treatment is best for you after a thorough evaluation of your condition.
Dialysis is a common procedure performed to treat acute or chronic kidney failure by removing waste and fluid from the blood, a task usually performed by the kidneys. Healthy kidneys effectively remove excess fluid, minerals and waste from the blood to keep it clean and prevent disease. There are two main types of dialysis: hemodialysis, which is most common and uses a special filter to purify the blood; and peritoneal dialysis, which places a tube in the stomach and special membrane to filter blood.
During the hemodialysis procedure, the blood flows slowly through a special filter that removes waste and fluid, before the clean blood is returned to the body. This helps control high blood pressure and balances the levels of chemicals within the body, such as potassium and sodium. The blood will be tested about once a month to make sure the dialysis treatments are working effectively to remove waste from the blood.
Hemodialysis treatment is usually administered three times a week for three to five hours. During treatment, patients can read, watch TV, sleep or perform other activities. It is important for patients to adjust their schedule to accommodate these lengthy treatment sessions. Most patients choose to have their treatments performed at the same time in order to develop a regular schedule.