About The Kidneys
The kidneys are located in the lower back, left and right of the spine. These organs are the vital organs of our body. They filter the toxic products of metabolism, regulate blood pressure, maintain the optimal levels of electrolytes and also stimulate red blood cells synthesis.
Monitoring the levels of natrium (sodium) and kalium (potassium) kidneys can provide ideal acid-base balance. Products of metabolism are often harmful, so the kidneys filter those and send them to excretion in urine. Some of the products are urea, uric acid and creatinine and blood urea nitrogen.
Sensor mechanisms located in the kidneys decide about the amount of water and electrolytes that need to be excreted, based on the concentration of electrolytes. Kidney hormone that regulates sensors (and therefore the blood pressure) is known as rennin.
Erythropoietin is also a hormone produced in kidneys. It stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Erythropoietin responds to the blood level of oxygen. When the oxygen in the blood gets low it increases the level of this hormone and that leads to the production of new red blood cells.
Kidney Failure Causes
There are two distinctive types of kidney failure: acute and chronic condition. The acute kidney failure is almost always provoked by the kidney injury and the kidneys lose the ability to function properly really quickly.
According to the place where the injury happened, we can distinguish several types of acute kidney failure:
- Pre-renal (before the kidneys) causes of kidney failure happen when something decrease the supply of the blood to the kidneys. These causes include the cases of dehydration because of vomiting, diarrhea, fever or low fluid intake, blood loss that caused hypovolemia, use of some medications (diuretics) and problems with the obstruction of renal arteries or veins.
- Renal causes of kidney failure are provoked by kidney damage. It includes acute glomerulonephritis (inflammation of the filtering system in the kidneys), sepsis (a severe case of infection), rhabdomyolysis, multiple myeloma or the use of some toxic medications. The drugs known to sometimes damage the kidneys are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), some antibiotics, lithium and iodine medications.
- Post-renal causes of kidney failure have something to do with the urine. Sometimes, it might be the obstruction of the bladder, ureter, prostate (hypertrophy or cancer) or kidney stones. In some cases tumors in the abdomen could also affect the kidneys.
Chronic renal failure develops over time. It takes many months or even years to develop and may be caused by chronic glomerulonephritis or poorly managed diabetes or hypertension. In some cases, chronic kidney problems may be associated with kidney stones, prostate problems, polycystic kidney disease or reflux nephropathy.