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Kidney Problems

Cutaway view of filtering unit

The kidneys may fail due to problems with their blood vessels or filtering units. Such problems may be caused by an illness that affects the whole body. Diabetes and high blood pressure are common examples. Filtering problems may also be caused by illnesses that harm the kidneys directly (glomerulonephritis and polycystic disease). In some cases, problems in the urinary tract may also cause kidney failure.

Problems with Blood Vessels

An illness can damage blood vessels inside the kidneys. As a result, the filtering units receive less blood, and pressure inside the kidneys cannot be controlled.

Problems with Filtering Units

Reduced blood supply or the wrong pressure can harm the filtering units. This makes them less able to remove wastes from the blood. As a result, the kidneys can’t maintain the proper balance of fluid and chemicals in the body. Waste products may be returned to the blood, or vital chemicals and proteins may be lost in the urine.

Problems in the Urinary Tract

A problem with the shape of the urinary tract may be present from birth. Other problems, such as blockages, may be due to aging or chronic infection. For instance, an enlarged prostate can cause urine to back up in the bladder or ureters. If waste can’t leave the body, your health is at risk.


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