The term “kidney disease” can refer to any type of condition that greatly reduces the functioning of the kidneys. Some forms of kidney disease are acute, which means that the damage is sudden and symptoms reveal themselves very quickly. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) means that the decline in the kidney function is slow and progressive. Many people live with CKD for years without being aware that the kidneys are the source of their health problems, as there are few or no symptoms in the initial stages of CKD.
Both types of kidney disease, chronic and acute, can be due to auto-immune disorders, ingested toxins that the kidney has been forced to try to filter out, pharmaceutical medications, or infections. Certain other diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, put extra stress on the kidneys and can cause them to function below par, eventually contributing to CKD.
One of the kidneys functions is to separate wastes, which we eliminate in our urine, from the important materials that need to be put back onto our bloodstream. Proteinuria, a result of many types of kidney disease, occurs when protein, mostly albumin, leaks out into the urine causing our protein levels in our blood to become too low. We need protein in our blood to keep fluid inside the blood vessels, and without it the fluid leaks into the tissues and blood is excreted through the urine. This is known as “nephritic syndrome”.
Chronic pyelonephritis is another common kidney ailment. It is a painful condition that happens when infection finds its way into the kidneys and causes chronic inflammation. Hematuria, the presence of blood in the urine, can result from this type of kidney infection