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Kidney Health

Kidney Health

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This lesson will identify the causes and affects of various kidney disorders.

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Tutorial

What's Covered

Welcome to this lesson today on kidney disorders and health. Today you’re going to be learning about various disorders that can affect kidneys. Specifically, you will learn about:

  1. Kidney Stones
  2. Urinary Tract Infections
  3. Nephritis
  4. Kidney Cancer
  5. Bladder Cancer
  6. Dialysis
  7. Alcohol Consumption

1. Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can develop from minerals or other substances that are found in urine. These can be things like uric acid or calcium salts that settle out of urine to form these kidney stones. Kidney stones can range in size from being pretty small to being fairly large.

If a kidney stone is small enough, it'll actually end up just passing out of the body with the urine. If they're large enough, they can become very painful as they move through the urinary system and can clog up different parts of the urinary system. They may get clogged in a ureter, which connects a kidney to the urinary bladder. At that point, the person would have to go to the doctor and get some sort of treatment in order to break this kidney stone down into a size small enough to pass. This can be a very painful process and may also cause damage to the lining of ureters.

Term to Know

    • Kidney Stones
    • Deposits of acids and salts that accumulate in the kidneys and can obstruct the flow of urine; kidney stones are very painful to void.

2. Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections are caused when bacteria from outside the body make their way into the bladder and cause inflammation. They are actually more common in women because they have a much shorter urethra than men, so it's much easier for bacteria to travel up a short urethra and into the bladder than up a very long urethra and into the bladder.

Term to Know

    • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
    • Infections that enter the urethra and can climb as high as the kidneys, UTIs cause inflammation of the urinary bladder or kidneys.

3. Nephritis

Nephritis is the inflammation of kidneys, which can be caused by bacterial infections, among other factors, and result in pressure build up around capillaries. Filtration of blood then becomes ineffective. Because of its hard outer covering, the kidney has a hard time swelling if fluid accumulates within it. This causes pressure to build up around the capillaries and filtration then becomes less effective. The excess pressure makes it more difficult to filter fluids out of capillaries into nephron tubules.

Term to Know

    • Nephritis
    • Inflammation of the kidneys caused by infections or autoimmune disorders.

4. Kidney Cancer

Kidney cancer is a cancer of the kidney, as the name implies. This type of cancer can actually spread very easily through the bloodstream because kidneys are what filter blood. If the kidneys have cancer it can be fairly easy for some of those cancerous cells to basically flow with the blood and implant themselves in another part of the body. Kidney cancer can spread easily throughout the body due to its accessibility to the bloodstream.

Term to Know

    • Kidney Cancer
    • Cancer that occurs in the kidneys, is more prevalent in males than in females.

5. Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is also another cancer that is closely related to the kidneys. Both bladder cancer and kidney cancer are actually more common in men than they are in women.


6. Dialysis

Dialysis is a process in which a machine will clean the blood if the kidneys are unable to. If a person has some sort of kidney disorder, where kidneys are not properly functioning, they can't properly filter the blood. Dialysis then, is the process in which a machine will filter blood for them. A dialysis machine cleans blood and helps maintain the volume and composition of extracellular fluids.

Term to Know

    • Dialysis
    • The process of artificially filtering a person’s blood by pumping it out of their body and into a machine; dialysis is a necessary procedure for a person whose kidneys are failing or completely gone (failed).

7. Alcohol Consumption

Consumption of alcohol is another factor that can have an effect on kidney health. Consumption of alcohol will inhibit ADH, which stands for anti-diuretic hormone. This causes the body to lose more water and as the body loses more water, the concentration of ions will be upset and balance will be altogether. Alcohol causes the kidneys to increase urinary output, which will then lead to dehydration. If a person heavily drinks over a long period of time throughout their life, it can actually lead to much more serious kidney disorders in the future.

Summary

This lesson has been an overview on kidney disorders and health. Specifically, you learned about kidney stones, urinary tract infections, nephritis, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, the benefits of dialysis, and the dangers of alcohol consumption.

Keep up the learning and have a great day!

Source: THIS WORK IS ADAPTED FROM SOPHIA AUTHOR AMANDA SODERLIND

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Kidney Stones

    Deposits of acids and salts that accumulate in the kidneys and can obstruct the flow of urine; kidney stones are very painful to void.

  • Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

    Infections that enter the urethra and can climb as high as the kidneys, UTIs cause inflammation of the urinary bladder or kidneys.

  • Nephritis

    Inflammation of the kidneys caused by infections or autoimmune disorders.

  • Kidney Cancer

    Cancer that occurs in the kidneys, is more prevalent in males than in females.

  • Dialysis

    The process of artificially filtering a person’s blood by pumping it out of their body and into a machine; dialysis is a necessary procedure for a person whose kidneys are failing or completely gone (failed).