Kidney Disorders Essay Sample

Kidney Disorders Pages
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The kidney is a very vital organ to a human’s healthy existence. The pair of bean shaped organs are responsible for many important functions, they aid in the Urinary system as was as the Endocrine system. Their main functions are to filter wastes from the blood and secrete hormones. Due to the fact that the kidneys are responsible for maintaining regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content, they also play an important role in maintaining a proper homeostasis. According to the NKF (National Kidney Foundation), the kidneys perform their job of filtering out and returning fluids back to the blood stream an average of 200 quarts per 24 hours. The average person with normal kidney function will produce about 2 quarts of wastes, in the form of urine in a day.


There are many different types of kidney diseases and each one affects the body a little differently. However, most kidney diseases attack the nephrons of the kidney. There are also kidney diseases in which inflammation is the main component. Kidney Diseases can be caused by genetics, medicines, or injuries. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains that the damage to the nephrons may leave the kidneys unable to remove wastes from the body, thus causing more health problems. Most kidney diseases are caused by diabetes or high blood pressure, such as with chronic kidney disease. Others caused by illness or medication are called acute kidney injury (National Kidney Disease Education Program, NKDEP). Some of the more common types of kidney disease are Acute Kidney Injury/Failure, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Glomerulonephritis, Alport Syndrome, and Chronic Kidney Disease.

Acute Kidney Injury/Failure-

According to, Mayo Clinic, Acute kidney failure happens when the kidneys rapidly lose the ability to filter wastes from your body resulting in a buildup of dangerous amounts of wastes, electrolytes and proteins. It can happen in two days to a matter of just a few hours. There are three main causes to Acute Kidney Failure. Which are a sudden drop of blood flow to the kidneys, damage caused by medications or infections, and a sudden blockage that stops urine from being able to pass through the kidneys (WebMD). Symptoms of Acute Kidney Failure include decreased urine output, although occasionally urine output remains normal, fluid retention, causing swelling in your legs, ankles or feet, drowsiness, shortness of breath, fatigue, confusion, nausea, seizures or coma in severe cases, chest pain or pressure ( Mayo Clinic).

Polycystic Kidney Disease-

Polycystic Kidney Disease is a condition where cysts form in the nephrons of the kidneys. It is a genetic disorder where cysts form inside the kidneys however it is not limited to just your kidneys as the cysts may also form on the liver. As the cysts form the can become quite enlarged and eventually take over the normal kidney tissue causing many complications. Due to the enlarged fluid filled sacks, the kidneys normal functioning is interrupted and causes the kidneys to shut down. When people with PKD reach kidney failure, also called end-stage renal disease (ESRD), dialysis or kidney transplant is needed. There are two inherited forms of PKD which are autosomal dominant PKD and autosomal recessive PKD National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

Autosomal dominant PKD means that if one parent carries the gene for the disease there is a 50% change that it will show up in their offspring. Many people who have Autosomal dominant PKD will not develop symptoms until adulthood, which is why the disease is sometimes referred to as adult polycystic kidney disease (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). People with PKD will retain the normal shape of the kidney however; it will be completely engulfed in cysts. Kidneys of a patient with PKD could end up with a kidney that weighs anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds. Symptoms of Autosomal dominate PKD include, pain in the back, sides between the ribs and hips, urinary tract or kidney infections, increase in the size of your abdomen, and frequent urination (Mayo Clinic) .

Other factors and conditions that could correspond with Autosomal dominate PKD are urinary tract infections-specifically, in the kidney cysts, hematuria-blood in the urine, cysts that form in the liver or pancreas, high blood pressure- hypertension, kidney stones, blockage of the blood vessels in the brain- aneurysms, and diverticulosis (NIDDK). There are only a few differences between Autosomal dominate and Autosomal recessive PKD. The first is that both parents must carry the gene in order for their offspring to develop the disease and if the parents do both have the gene than each child would hold a 25% chance of inheriting the disease.


Medical news today, defines Glomerulonephritis as a kidney disease that is characterized by inflammation of the glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis is also called, glomerular nephritis, abbreviated GN. The glomeruli are small blood vessels in the kidneys and act as tiny filters. With Glomerulonephritis, the kidneys filtration is affected because the blood vessels are inflamed. The kidneys can’t remove wastes and excrete fluids like normal. This causes blood and proteins to appear in the blood. GN is not one specific disease and is used to refer to many renal diseases, but not all have an inflammatory component.

GN can be acute or chronic, and treatment depends on which form as well as what underlying condition is causing the disease. Glomerulonephritis that forms on its own is known as primary glomerulonephritis and if it is a result of another disease, such as diabetes or lupus, infection, or drugs it is called secondary glomerulonephritis (Medical News Today). Symptoms include, changes in urine, increased body temperature, difficulty breathing, edema (swelling), especially in the hands, face, feet, ankles or abdomen, and, vision problems. Other contributing factors include, strep infections of the throat and impetigo, TB, syphilis, injecting illegal drugs, bacterial endocarditis, and other viral infections (Medical News Today).

Alport Syndrome-

Alport Syndrome or hereditary nephritis is a condition in which a genetic mutation prevents the proper production or assembly of the type IV collagen network. Mutations in the genes that produce these collagens lead to disorders in the kidney, inner ear and eyes. Alport Syndrome is characterized by characterized by glomerulonephritis, end-stage kidney disease, and hearing loss (Wiki/Alport_syndrome). This disease is inflammatory condition that is caused by damage to the tiny blood vessels in the glomeruli of the kidney. Men are most often affected and the disease develops faster and much worse in men than in women. Symptoms include, abnormal urine color, ankle, feet, and leg swelling, blood in the urine, decreased or loss of vision (more common in males), back pain, loss of hearing (more common in males), swelling around the eyes, and over all swelling of the body (NIH, Medline Plus).

Chronic Kidney Disease-

Chronic Kidney Disease is the end result of kidney failure. It means that the kidneys have not been working properly for some time. It is caused by damage to the kidneys, so all of the conditions listed prior can lead to CKD. However, the 2 most common causes of CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure. An Estimated 26 Million Adults in the United States have Chronic Kidney Disease (CDC, Chronic Kidney Disease). The following chart represents the number of people who reported having CKD by stage in 2005. (CDC, Chronic Kidney Disease)

There are 5 stages to CKD, stage 5 is the worst and is referred to as End-Stage renal failure. At this point dialysis or kidney transplant is needed (WebMD). How Kidney Disease relates to the 11 body systems-

Integumentary System-

The Integumentary System is affected by Kidney disease because, skin rashes often develop. As well as patients with End-Stage Renal failure normally developing skin or nail conditions as a result of a buildup of wastes in the body. Patients with Kidney disease will often develop a yellowing of the skin or Jaundice from a buildup of lipochrome and carotenoid deposit in the dermis and subcutaneous tissues (Kidney Failure Web). Cardiovascular-

High blood pressure is one of the leading causes and factors to Kidney disease, as well as damage to the heart, arteries, heart muscles and the valves of the heart.

Lymphatic and Immune Systems-

According to Kidney Service China, 95% of kidney diseases relate to the immune system. Kidney disease relates to the Immune system because the body produces antibodies to fight off infections, in kidney disease these antibodies attack what they are supposed to be defending causing the body farther complications.

Digestive System-

Kidney disease can cause a patients abdomen to swell, for them to feel nauseous and unable to eat as well as poor appetite, nausea, vomiting, poor taste in mouth, gastrointestinal bleedings, peptic ulcer and so on (Kidney Failure Web).

Respiratory System-

The buildup of toxins in the body causes the alveolar capillary to increase which causes pulmonary congestion causing shortness of breath (Kidney Failure Web). Kidney disorders can also lead to anemia, which causes low blood oxygen levels.

Urinary System-

Kidney failure causes the buildup on urine in the body. Changes in the color or frequency also occur.

Skeletal System-

Kidney failure can cause complications in the bone such as renal osteopathia, osteomalacia, adynamic bone disease and osteoporosis (Kidney Failure Web). Due to the kidneys not being able to maintain a normal calcium level, bone mineral disorders occur. Muscular System-

Low blood calcium levels cause the muscles to twitch (Kidney Failure Web).

Nervous System-

Kidney disease causes headache, double vision, tremors and seizures all as a result of Urea. If urea increase too much in the body it can cause, uremic coma and causes disorders of memory, thinking, speech, perception, emotions and other neurological manifestations (Health 24).

Endocrine System-

Hormone production happens in the kidneys; angiotensin I and II, active vitamin D metabolites, kinins, and prostaglandins are all normally produced. In kidney disease hormone production stops. If the kidneys fail to produce calcitriol, than the parathyroid hormone (PTH) increases and causes mineral and skeletal disorders (NCBI).

Reproductive System-

Kidney disease causes loss of libido in men and infertility and irregular menstrual cycles for women.


Works Cited
“Alport Syndrome: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia.” U.S National Library of
Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Alport Syndrome.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 19 July 2013. Web. 26 July 2013. “Can Immune System Affect Chronic Kidney Disease.” Can Immune System Affect Chronic Kidney Disease. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Chapter 13.” Sexual and Reproductive Function in Chronic Kidney Disease and Effect of Kidney Transplantation. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Chronic Kidney Disease: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 23 July 2013. Web. 26 July 2013. “Chronic Kidney Disease-Treatment Overview.” WebMD. WebMD, 2011. Web. 20 July 2013. “The Effect of Kidney Failure on the Brain and Nervous System | Health24.” Health24. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “An Estimated 26 Million Adults in the United States Have Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 03 Mar. 2009. Web. 26 July 2013. “Featured Story.” The National Kidney Foundation: Kidney Disease. National Kidney Foundation, n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Gastrointestinal Tract Symptoms.” – Kidney Failure Symptoms and Complications-Kidney Failure. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Kidney Disease and the Immune System.” Yahoo! Contributor Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Kidney Disease Basics.” – National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP). N.p., 2013. Web. 26 July 2013. “Kidney Failure (Acute Renal Failure) Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “National Kidney and Urologic DiseasesInformation Clearinghouse (NKUDIC).” Kidney Disease of Diabetes. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “National Kidney and Urologic DiseasesInformation Clearinghouse (NKUDIC).” Polycystic Kidney Disease. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. Nordqvist, Christian. “What Is Glomerulonephritis? What Causes Glomerulonephritis?” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 14 Oct. 2009. Web. 26 July 2013. “Others Kidney Failure Symptoms and Complications.” Others. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Respiratory System Symptoms of Kidney Failure.” -Kidney Failure. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Result Filters.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Definition.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 02 Apr. 2011. Web. 26 July 2013. Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Definition.” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 06 July 2012. Web. 26 July 2013. Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Definition.”
Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 18 Nov. 2011. Web. 26 July 2013. “Stages of Chronic Kidney Disease.” (CKD). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013. “Yellow Skin In Kidney Disease.” -Kidney Failure. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 July 2013.

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