In this article, we will review the structure and diseases of the kidneys. Our two kidneys are kept on the right and left sides of our body behind the intestines and inside the kidney capsule.

We understand the importance of the kidneys when we know that although together they make up only one percent of the total body weight, twenty-five percent of the blood that leaves the heart goes right into the kidneys. What will you read next:


Main tasks of Kidney

Types of kidney diseases

What are the signs and symptoms of kidney disease?

How to prevent kidney disease



Main kidney functions:

About half a cup of our blood is filtered by the kidneys every minute. The blood purifier unit is called nephron. In each nephron, blood waste is separated and water and minerals such as sodium, chlorine, potassium, calcium, etc. are adjusted according to body conditions. The urine formed in the renal pelvis, which is like a funnel, is collected and carried to the bladder by a tube called the urethra, which is connected to the pelvis. When the volume of urine in the bladder reaches 400 cc (in an adult weighing 70 kg), the brain will be notified. Then with messages coming from the spinal cord, the bladder wall muscle contracts and the bladder outlet valve (external bladder sphincter) and pelvic floor muscles relax helping us to urinate.

The unit that makes up our kidneys is called nephrons. Nephrons are very small but have a very precise and sensitive function. The first part of the nephron, which includes vascular clumps, is called the glomerulus. Water and salts enter the nephron from the vessels around the glomerulus to be purified and concentrated in other parts of the nephron. The glomeruli also play an important role in controlling blood pressure.


Different kidney diseases

Kidney diseases are divided into the following categories:

  • Kidney stones (nephrolithiasis)
  • Calcium kidney stones
  • Urate kidney stones
  • Struvite stones
  • Cysteine stones


Pelvic infection (pyelonephritis):

  • Acute pyelonephritis

    • Escherichia coli
    • Klebsiella
    • Enterobacter
    • Pseudomonas
    • Septicemia
  • Chronic pyelonephritis
    • Diabetes
    • kidney stone
    • Urinary reflux (vesicourtral reflux)

Pylonphritis emphysematous:

  • Diabetes


  • Acute glomerulonephritis (infectious)
    • Post streptococcal glomerulonephritis
    • Bacterial endocarditis
  • Viral infections:

    • AIDS virus
    • Hepatitis B virus
    • Hepatitis C virus
  • Chronic glomerulonephritis:

Autoimmune diseases:

  • Lupus
  • Immunoglobulin A. nephropathy
  • Goodpasture Syndrome


  • Wegener Granulomatosis (polyangitis granulomatosis)
  • Polyarthritis
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
  • Diabetes

Nephrotic syndrome:

  • Minimal Chang disease
  • Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis

Membranous nephropathy:

  • Malaria
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis B
  • Diabetes
  • Lupus
  • Amyloidosis
  • Polycystic renal disease
  • Renal abscess

Kidney failure:

Causes of prerenal (decreased renal perfusion):

  • bleeding
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomit
  • Dehydration
  • Extensive burns
  • Peritonitis
  • Cardiac Output Reduction
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Misuse of diuretics
  • A lot of sweat
  • Sepsis (systemic vasodilation)
  • Shocks (hypotensive, septic, cardiogenic)
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Tamponade
  • Pancreatitis
  • Ascites


  • Diuretics
  • Cyclosporine
  • NSAIDs
  • Interferon
  • Tacrolimus
  • Captopril
  • Enalpril
  • Lozartan


Acute renal failure (renal cause):

Severe reactions to transfusions of blood and blood products


  • NSAIDs
  • Gentamicin
  • Tobramycin
  • Imaging contrast material (dye)
  • foscarnet
  • Lithium
  • Methotrexate
  • Allopurinol
  • Tetracycline
  • Cocaine
  • Statins
  • Mannitol
  • Amphotericin B
  • Heavy metals (lead, mercury and gold)
  • Lupus
  • Infections
  • Solvents and chemicals

Acute failure (post-renal causes):

Bladder outlet obstruction:

  • Tumor
  • Infections
  • Autonomic Nerve Disorder
  • Anticholinergic drugs

Urethral obstruction (ureteral abstraction):

  • Inflammation of the duct
  • Uric acid crystals
  • Previous duct surgery
  • Duct stenosis
  • Tumor
  • Benign enlargement or prostate tumor

Chronic renal failure:

  • ESRD (end stage renal disease)
  • Renal cyst

interstitial nephritis:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Drug reactions
  • Hypertensive nephropathy


What are the signs and symptoms of renal disease?

The main symptoms are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Change in volume and number of daily urination
  • Changes in the appearance of urine (foamy or bloody urine)
  • Decreased appetite
  • Swelling of the body
  • Headache
  • Decreased concentration
  • Skin rash
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle spasm
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness

What is the best way of preventing kidney disease?

Try to follow the below items to reduce the risk of kidney failure and diseases:

  • Control Overweight
  • Healthy diet (Include vegetables and fruits in your daily routine and avoid excessive consumption of fast food, salty, sweet and fatty foods.)
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Physical mobility
  • Drink enough water




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