KIDNEY DISEASE

Friday, March 27, 2009 5:25

Kidney problems occur in men and women. The two kidneys lie deep within the body on either side of the spine just below the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the abdomen and chest. Blood passes through the kidneys from the renal (kidney) arteries, and the kidneys filter the blood and remove waste products, which are dissolved in the urine. Disorders can affect either one or both kidneys. When both are seriously damaged, waste products build up in the body.

The symptoms of kidney disease depend on the underlying cause. Some problems cause pain, which is usually felt in the small of the back or in the side of the abdomen. This pain is common with kidney stones, which are often passed down the ureters. Stones may cause a pain that shoots into the groin as well as the back.

Other kidney diseases are gradual in their development, and the symptoms are the result of the accumulation of waste products in the blood. This process, called kidney failure, causes weakness, fatigue, and often anemia. Some people experience a metallic taste in the mouth, itching skin, and an increase or decrease in the amount of urine that is passed. When there is an increase, the urine is usually very pale because it contains few waste products. If the condition continues without treatment, it can fatally damage the heart, blood pressure, and lungs.

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