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What Happens If One Kidney Is Smaller Than The Other

Can You Drink Alcohol With Only One Kidney

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Many of your bodys organs are affected by alcohol including your kidneys. Drinking in moderation usually wont harm your kidneys.

Alcohol increases the amount of urine you produce but reduces your kidneys ability to filter blood. This disrupts the fluid and electrolyte balance in your body, and you become dehydrated.

Without enough fluid in your body, the cells in your organs, including your kidneys, cant function properly. Eventually it may cause permanent damage.

Your liver is also important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance. Liver damage from excessive alcohol interferes with this balance, making it even harder for your kidneys to work correctly.

The risk of kidney damage is even higher for heavy drinkers who also smoke.

Alcohol has this effect whether you have one or two kidneys, but it may lead to kidney failure more quickly when you only have one functioning kidney.

Treatment For Kidney Disease

If detected early enough, the progress of kidney disease can be slowed and sometimes even prevented. In the early stages, changes to diet and medication can help to increase the life of your kidneys.

If kidney function is reduced to less than 10 per cent of normal, the loss of function must be replaced by dialysis or a kidney transplant. Dialysis is a treatment for kidney failure that removes waste products and extra water from the blood by filtering it through a special membrane .

Can I Prevent Injury To My Solitary Kidney

You should let your health care professional know if you have a solitary kidney to prevent injury from medicines or medical procedures. Certain sports may be more likely to injure the kidney. This risk is of particular concern with children, as they are more likely to play sports. Talk with your health care professional about the specific sport and ways to lessen the risk of injury. Loss of the remaining working kidney will result in the need for dialysis or a kidney transplant.

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What Are The Causes And Symptoms Of Atrophic Kidney

Atrophic kidney can be caused by many different illnesses and diseases that affect the kidney system in some way. Kidneys may become diseased or nonfunctioning due to a restriction of blood supply to the organ, leading various internal kidney structures to shrink in size. This shrinkage extends to the overall size of the kidney. The following are some causes for this condition:

  • Long standing kidney infections: For example, pyelonephritis, polycystic kidney, or other conditions affecting the internal structures of the kidney itself.
  • Kidney ischemia: When blood supply to the kidney becomes compromised, it may lead to kidney atrophy. This can occur due to narrowing of the renal blood vessels, leading to tissue damage.
  • Renal artery occlusion: Blockage of the artery supplying the kidney with oxygenated blood. This can be caused by a blood clot.
  • Reflux nephropathy
  • Compression of blood vessels by renal cysts

Specific underlying conditions leading to atrophic kidney may display unique signs and symptoms not seen in other documented cases. However, common symptoms of an atrophic kidney include:

  • Anemia

How Is Chronic Kidney Disease Treated

What Is Kidney Atrophy?

There is no cure for chronic kidney disease , but steps may be taken in early CKD to preserve a higher level of kidney function for a longer period of time. If you have reduced kidney function:

  • Make and keep your regular healthcare provider / nephrologist visits.
  • Keep your blood sugar under control .
  • Avoid taking painkillers and other medications that may make your kidney disease worse.
  • Keep your blood pressure levels under control.
  • Consult a dietitian regarding useful changes in diet. Dietary changes may include limiting protein, eating foods that reduce blood cholesterol levels, and limiting sodium and potassium intake.
  • Exercise/be active on most days of the week.
  • Stay at a healthy weight.

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What Is It Like To Live With One Kidney Instead Of Two

Your kidneys filter out waste and extra fluid from your blood so it can be excreted from your body in your urine.

One kidney can filter enough blood to keep your body functioning normally. This is why you can survive and be healthy with only one kidney.

The recommendations for healthy living if you have only one kidney are basically the same for people with two kidneys. They include:

Your kidneys play a role in maintaining fluid balance in your body, keeping protein in your blood, and controlling your blood pressure.

If your kidneys stop working, you may:

  • lose protein in your urine
  • retain fluid

Most people with a single kidney live a normal life without developing any long- or short-term problems.

However, the risk of developing mild high blood pressure, fluid retention, and proteinuria is slightly higher if you have one kidney instead of two. This is because a second kidney can compensate and make up for a kidney that has lost some function.

Since it has no backup, the loss of function of a single kidney could lead to proteinuria, fluid retention, or high blood pressure earlier than if you had two kidneys.

Symptoms Of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is called a silent disease as there are often few or no symptoms. In fact, you can lose up to 90 per cent of your kidneys functionality before experiencing any symptoms. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • a change in the frequency and quantity of urine you pass, especially at night
  • blood in your urine
  • changes in the appearance of your urine
  • puffiness around your legs and ankles
  • pain in your back
  • pain or burning when you pass urine
  • high blood pressure.

If your kidneys begin to fail, waste products and extra fluid build up in your blood. This, and other problems, gradually leads to:

  • tiredness and inability to concentrate
  • generally feeling unwell
  • bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth.

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It Can Sometimes Do The Work Of Two

Tests have shown that some people who have had one kidney removed can have increased function in their remaining kidney. These increased function levels can equate to around 70 per cent of that normally achieved by two kidneys.

If someone is born with a single kidney, their overall kidney function is often normal.

How The Kidneys Work

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The kidneys are like the body’s garbage collection and disposal system. Through microscopic units called nephrons, the kidneys remove waste products and extra water from the food a person eats, returning chemicals the body needs back into the bloodstream. The extra water combines with other waste to become urine, which flows through thin tubes called ureters to the bladder, where it stays until it exits through the urethra when someone goes to the bathroom.

The kidneys also produce three important hormones:

  • erythropoietin, which stimulates the bone marrow to make red blood cells
  • renin, which helps regulate blood pressure and
  • the active form of vitamin D, which helps control the calcium balance in the body and maintain healthy bones.

Kidney failure, which is also called renal failure, is when the kidneys slow down or stop properly filtering wastes from the body, which can cause buildups of waste products and toxic substances in the blood. Kidney failure can be acute or chronic .

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How Is Kidney Disease Treated

How kidney disease is treated depends on the particular problem and what’s causing it:

  • Kidney infections are treated with .
  • Medicines to decrease may help with nephritis and nephrotic syndrome.
  • Medicines can treat high blood pressure or help the kidneys make extra pee if fluid or swelling is causing a kidney problem.
  • A person might need to eat a special diet that limits salt or other things.

Occasionally, if medicines and other treatments don’t work, the kidneys can stop working well. They may not clear enough of the body’s waste products and excess water. In that case, a person might need dialysis. This process uses an artificial filtering system to do the job of the kidneys when they can’t.

Some people who need dialysis on a permanent basis might be candidates for a kidney transplant. This means they get a donated kidney from another person. Someone who gets a transplanted kidney no longer needs dialysis to clean the blood of waste products and remove excess water. The donated, healthy kidney takes over the job.

How Does It Affect Overall Health

Im not going to lie people with just one kidney, either from birth defect or surgery, have extra health issues to face. When born with a solitary kidney, often it functions perfectly well for a number of years. However, as the years goes on, kidney function begins to deteriorate.

The New York University School of Medicine funded a study on adults with solitary kidney, showing: 8% have increased protein in the urine, 21% have increased creatinine levels, 20%-50% have high blood pressure.

Oddly, though, having one kidney is not linked to a shorter life expectancy.

Nevertheless, these statistics show that a single kidney can slowly begin to deteriorate over the course of a lifetime. While children may show normal kidney function, the lifestyle of an adult with alcohol, smoking, medications, obesity, malnourishment, little exercise and poor dietary choices takes its toll.

There is only one kidney to handle all the waste products, acids, toxins, and fluids that the body has to process. To compensate, the remaining kidney nearly doubles in size. I dont know about you, but that really knocked me when I learned that!

Luckily, the kidney handles all this added pressure beautifully. Under normal circumstances when subjected to a healthy lifestyle, there is no reason for one kidney not being able to do the job of two. Its an amazingly resilient organ. Put too much pressure on it, ask too much of it, and it will eventually wear out.

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About The Kidneys And Urinary System

The urinary system gets rid of things that the body no longer needs, so that we can grow and stay healthy.

The kidneys are bean-shaped organs. They filter blood to remove extra water and waste in urine . Most of us have two kidneys. They are on either side of our spine , near the bottom edge of our ribs at the back.

The two ureters are long tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder.

The bladder is a bag that stores urine until we are ready to urinate. It sits low down in the pelvis.

The urethra is a tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body.

Are Dietary Changes Needed

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In general, people with one healthy kidney dont need special diets. However, its always good to:

  • have a healthy well-balanced diet
  • reduce your salt intake

Dietary restrictions arent usually necessary for people who have received a transplanted kidney but its still worth following a healthy diet and watching your salt intake. However, you will probably be advised to avoid fresh grapefruit or grapefruit juice because they can interfere with certain medications. If you are advised by your kidney consultant to make specific changes to your diet, ask to be referred to the renal dietitian and follow their advice.

For more information about diet and kidney disease take a look at our dietary hints and tips.

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Will It Happen In Future Pregnancies

Unless you have been told that your babys renal hypoplasia was caused by a genetic mutation, it is unlikely that a future pregnancy will result in renal hypoplasia, or other problems with the kidneys. If one of your children has renal hypoplasia, it is unlikely that another of your children or family members will get it. Your doctor or healthcare professional will be able to give you more information.

Medicines And Other Drugs

A few cases of renal hypoplasia are caused by some medicines taken by the pregnant woman including some prescribed medicines for seizures or high blood pressure inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers ). Speak with your doctor about the medicines that you are taking.

It may be also be caused by some illicit drugs, such as cocaine.

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What Causes Kidney Disease

Kidney diseases happen when your kidneys are damaged and cant filter your blood. The damage can happen quickly when its caused by injury or toxins or, more commonly, over months or years.

High blood pressure and diabetes are the two most common causes of chronic kidney disease. Other causes and conditions that affect kidney function and can cause chronic kidney disease include:

  • Glomerulonephritis. This type of kidney disease involves damage to the glomeruli, which are the filtering units inside your kidneys.
  • Polycystic kidney disease. This is a genetic disorder that causes many fluid-filled cysts to grow in your kidneys, reducing the ability of your kidneys to function.
  • Hypertensive nephrosclerosis. Kidney damage caused by chronic, poorly controlled hypertension.
  • Membranous nephropathy. This is a disorder where your bodys immune system attacks the waste-filtering membranes in your kidney.
  • Obstructions of the urinary tract from kidney stones, an enlarged prostate or cancer.
  • Vesicourethral reflux. This is a condition in which urine flows backward refluxes back up the ureters to the kidneys
  • Nephrotic syndrome. This is a collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage.

Causes Of Chronic Kidney Disease

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Kidney disease is most often caused by other conditions that put a strain on the kidneys.

High blood pressure and diabetes are the most common causes of kidney disease. The evidence indicates that high blood pressure causes just over a quarter of all cases of kidney failure. Diabetes has been established as the cause of around a quarter of all cases.

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What Are The Complications Of A Solitary Kidney

Complications from a solitary kidney are rare but may include

  • increased protein in the urine, known as albuminuria.
  • a lower-than-normal glomerular filtration rate , which measures how quickly your kidneys filter wastes and extra fluid from your blood. While less common, this complication can at times lead to kidney failure.
  • high blood pressure.
  • high blood pressure during pregnancy. This complication less commonly results in organ damage in the mother or child, a condition known as preeclampsia.

People with kidney agenesis or kidney dysplasia can be at an increased risk for developing kidney disease. For example, if your solitary kidney functioned normally during childhood, you still have an increased risk of having decreased kidney function as an adult.4,5

Biopsy For Kidney Disease

A biopsy means that a small piece of tissue is taken for testing in a laboratory. Biopsies used in the investigation of kidney disease may include:

  • kidney biopsy the doctor inserts a special needle into the back, under local anaesthesia, to obtain a small sample of kidney tissue. A kidney biopsy can confirm a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease.
  • bladder biopsy the doctor inserts a thin tube into the bladder via the urethra. This allows the doctor to view the inside of the bladder and check for abnormalities. This procedure is called a cystoscopy. The doctor may take a biopsy of bladder tissue for examination in a laboratory.

Your doctor may arrange other tests, depending on the suspected cause of your kidney disorder.

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What To Do For Abdominal Pain After Kidney Stone Removal

Renal colic or abdominal pain after kidney stone removal and stent can be managed with adequate fluid intake, analgesics along with anti-inflammatory and antibiotics to prevent urinary tract infection. If the pain becomes unbearable or if the signs and symptoms become severe, the prompt treatment is to remove the stent in-situ.

Pay Attention To Protein

Working model of kidney Archives

The more protein you eat, the harder your kidneys have to work. But you do need some protein. You can get it from animal products such as:

  • chicken
  • fish
  • meat

Portion size matters, too. A portion of chicken, fish, or meat is 2 to 3 ounces. A portion of yogurt or milk is half a cup. One slice of cheese is a portion.

You can also get protein from beans, grains, and nuts. A portion of cooked beans, rice, or noodles is half a cup. A portion of nuts is a quarter of a cup. One slice of bread is a portion.

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What Kind Of Kidney Cancer Does A Cat Have

Renal lymphoma is the most common cancer affecting the kidneys. Affected cats are typically middle aged or elderly. The degree of enlargement is moderate to severe, and both kidneys are involved. Cats with renal lymphoma often have poor appetite, weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, lethargy, and pale gums.

What Causes A Solitary Kidney

  • birth defects.
  • Some people are born with only one kidney because the other kidney never developeda condition known as renal agenesis or kidney agenesis. A solitary kidney is sometimes diagnosed before birth by a routine prenatal ultrasound sometimes it is diagnosed later in life after an x-ray, an ultrasound, or a surgery for an unrelated clinical condition.
  • Some people are born with one normal kidney and another abnormal, nonfunctioning kidney that may eventually shrink so it is no longer visible on x-ray or ultrasound before or sometime after birth. That condition is known as kidney dysplasia.
  • surgical removal of a kidney. Some people must have a kidney removed to treat kidney cancer or another disease or injury. That surgery is known as a nephrectomy. When a kidney is removed surgically, the ureter is also removed.
  • kidney donation. A growing number of people are donating a kidney to be transplanted into a family member or friend whose kidneys have failed. Many people even donate a kidney to a stranger in need.
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