Age-related Kidney Diseases
Anyone can develop kidney disease, regardless of the age
Kidney diseases may occur in all age groups. Except for the hereditary link, in many instances kidney diseases may have been caused by an underlying disease. Glomerulonephritis is a condition where the kidneys get inflammated / swollen. Diabetes (excess sugar in the blood) is one of the common causes for kidney failure. Urinary tract infections when left untreated may lead to kidney infections and cause irreparable damage.
Renovascular diseases are marked by deposits in the inner lining of arteries, and leads to narrowing and blockage. This affects blood supply to the kidneys, and reduced kidney function and failure. Urinary incontinence enhances the risk of urinary tract infections and consequently leads to reduced kidney function. Urinary reflux is seen in children where there is backflow of urine from the bladder into the kidneys. In addition to these causative diseases, there are also hereditary conditions like polycystic kidney disease that may lead to kidney dysfunction and failure.
The possible symptoms of kidney diseases are reduced amount of urine, swelling of your legs-ankles-feet from retention of fluids caused by the failure of your kidneys to eliminate water waste, shortness of breath, excessive drowsiness or fatigue, persistent nausea, confusion, pain or pressure in the chest and seizures.
KIDNEY DISEASES IN CHILDREN
Children may develop kidney disease due to birth defects, hereditary diseases and infections. Renal agenesis is a condition where the child is born with only one kidney. Renal dysplasia is a condition where the child is born with two kidneys with only one functioning. Ectopic kidney is a condition where the kidney is placed in an abnormal position. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is hereditary and marked by the presence of fluid-filled cysts/ abnormal sacs. Hemolytic uremic syndrome and Post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis are caused by bacterial infections. Hemolytic uremic syndrome is caused by Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacterium found in meat, dairy products and juices. E. coli’s toxins may lead to kidney failure in some children.
KIDNEY DISEASES IN YOUNG ADULTS
Different types of kidney diseases are seen in young adults who are in the age group of 18 to 35. Polycystic kidney disease, also known as polycystic kidney syndrome and PKD, is a genetic disorder of renal cyst formation, and prominently found in young adults, children and women. It is characterized by the presence of numerous small cysts in both kidneys. Goodpasture’s syndrome causes glomerulonephritis, or acute or chronic inflammation of the renal glomeruli–the clusters of microscopic blood vessels in the kidneys. IgA Nephropathy is a kidney condition marked by blood or protein in the urine. This kidney disease is quite common in young adults.
KIDNEY DISEASES IN MIDDLE AND OLD AGED
Usually, kidney diseases in middle and old aged are a fall-out of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity. Gross neglect of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity may lead to chronic kidney disease, a condition when kidneys stop working and waste can no longer be removed from the blood. Middle and old aged who already have kidney disease can slow down its progression with proper treatment.
STEPS TO ENSURE HEALTHY KIDNEYS
Certain steps to follow to ensure healthy kidneys include, checking blood sugar by medication-exercise-diet; controlling high blood pressure by healthy diet-exercise-medication; having kidney health check at regular intervals with close follow-up with the specialist doctor; attending to urinary tract infections immediately; controlling blood cholesterol levels with diet and medications; drinking plenty of water; and having diet rich in fiber and less of fat and sugar.
Kidney diseases are considered as silent killers, as it is not uncommon for kidneys to fail with no prominent symptoms at all. End-stage kidney diseases are treated with dialysis and kidney transplant. Older people are more at the risk of kidney diseases than children, young and middle aged patients. However, by way of regular health checks, adopting the right lifestyle and specialist support, kidney diseases can be checked to ensure healthy working of kidneys.