Kidneys are one of the most important organs of the excretory system of man. In the event that the normal activity of this filtration apparatus is disrupted, it is fraught with self-poisoning of the body, development of edema, increased blood pressure, metabolic disorders.
The structure of the kidneys
The kidneys in the body are two, in appearance they resemble beans and are located in the retroperitoneal space on both sides of the spine at the waist level. Everyone who has at least once undergone an inflammatory disease of the excretory system, and who knows the symptoms of chronic nephritis, perfectly represents where they are. The size of the kidneys is small, and the mass does not exceed 200 g. The organ consists of two layers: outer (cortical) and internal (cerebral). On the side of the spine, the kidney connects with the blood vessels, there is also a special cavity - the renal pelvis, from which the ureter leaves.
The structure of these organs is very complicated and is studied at the microscopic level. Known is the basic structural and working element of the kidneys - nephron, located in the cortical layer and consisting of glomeruli of blood capillaries enclosed in capsules and tubules. Capillaries are formed as a result of branching of the renal artery, and I must say, the pressure in it is very high. To think: for 4-5 minutes all the blood in the human body manages to pass through the kidneys, and the total length of the kidney tubules reaches 100 km.
The number of nephrons in the kidneys is impressive: they are one million in each of them. Through the glomeruli of these structural units, about 200 liters of primary urine are filtered per day, which is similar in composition to blood plasma, only devoid of proteins and contains many substances necessary for the body. In the convoluted tubules, there is a reverse absorption in the blood of most substances, as well as secretion, that is, the release of a number of substances from the blood into the urine. The final amount of urine is already 1.7-2 liters. It enters the renal pelvis and bladder. The work of the kidneys is constantly changing depending on the conditions of the external and internal environment and is regulated by the central nervous system.
In addition to the excretory function, the kidneys are still endocrine and metabolic, and also maintain a stable water-salt and acid-base balance, take an active part in the blood, repeatedly through the day pumping through itself all the blood in the human body and clearing it of unnecessary substances.
For kidney disease, there are some common symptoms. Violations of their work are signaled by pain localized in the lumbar region, from one or both sides. Edema on the face and extremities also indicate a violation of the functions of these organs. Soreness and increased frequency of urination, a change in the color of urine, the presence of blood in it - these symptoms clearly indicate that the kidneys are broken. Inflammatory diseases of these organs are often accompanied by an increase in body temperature and some common symptoms: increased fatigue, a discoloration of the skin, poor appetite and others.
Nephritis is not one, but a group of diseases that combine the presence of an inflammatory process in the tissues of the kidneys. By the nature of the current distinguish between acute and chronic nephritis. They are also different for reasons of inflammation and for affected parts of the kidneys. Inflammation can spread to the entire kidney (diffuse form), and can affect only its honor (foci form). In acute forms, the symptoms are pronounced, the body temperature is greatly increased, but chronic nephritis is a disease that can be asymptomatic.
The main types of nephritis. Pyelonephritis
Pyelonephritis is the most common inflammatory disease of the kidneys, and it is caused by a bacterial infection that enters the kidneys, either with blood flow or urinary tracts. In this case, the bowel-locomotor system of the kidney is affected. Suffer from chronic nephritis of this species can those who in their time suffered an acute phase of the disease and did not bring his treatment to the end. Such people should pay more attention to their condition: to properly build a diet, avoid hypothermia. The future mothers are at risk of getting pyelonephritis, as the growing fetus squeezes the ureters.
Glomerulonephritis is also called glomerular nephritis. It is based on the immune inflammation of the glomerulus of nephrons, which arises under the action of the body's own antibodies, but the disease can also be allergic after the transmitted infections of both viral and bacterial nature. The action of toxic substances (alcohol, drugs, mercury) can also be the cause of glomerulonephritis.
It has already been mentioned that it is the glomeruli that act as filters in the body. If their correct work is disturbed, the substances needed by the body begin to enter the urine, and the decay products cease to be released from it. A person suffers from general weakness, low back pain, nausea, swelling, shortness of breath and urination disorders. A feature of chronic nephritis of this type is the alternation of periods of remission with episodes of exacerbation of symptoms. The disease in the absence of adequate treatment can result in chronic renal failure.
Interstitial nephritis is a disease in which the destruction of the intermediate tissue and nephron tubules occurs. This happens as a result of the use of drugs, in particular antibiotics and diuretics, as well as anti-inflammatory drugs, against a background of some bacterial and viral infections, which in this case serve not as a cause, but as a catalyst provoking a disease factor. Even among the causes of this disease are poisoning by toxins and damage from the effects of ionizing radiation. Since intermittent nephritis has a disturbed function of the tubules, and inflammation does not spread to the renal pelvis, this pathology is also called tubulointerstitial nephritis.
It should be taken into account that the described form of the disease has a peculiarity to proceed implicitly until it passes into chronic tubulointerstitial nephritis. Developing pathological process eventually leads to the appearance of symptoms of intoxication of the body. It is difficult enough to diagnose this kind of chronic nephritis. Patients complain of dry mouth, constant thirst, but urinary disorders, which are so characteristic of other kidney diseases, can not be observed at the initial stage, pain in the lower back is weak, but a common phenomenon is the appearance of an allergic rash on the body. If chronic tubulointerstitial nephritis is an unspecified diagnosis, then a diagnostic test, such as a kidney biopsy, can reliably verify the presence or absence of this disease.
Treatment of chronic nephritis
Chronic nephritis of the kidneys is almost always the result of an incomplete acute nephritis. Sometimes, though the chronic form can develop without an acute stage in the past, but then, most likely, there were some other infectious diseases. In chronic kidney disease, anatomical changes occur in them, up to the wrinkling of the organs.
Treatment of chronic nephritis, of course, depends on the type of disease. But there are a number of general rules. First of all, it is necessary to eliminate foci of infections in the body with the help of medications. You should avoid physical exertion, stress, hypothermia. In the period of exacerbations, a strict bed rest is needed. Allowed the appointment of diuretics, hormonal therapy. However, medicines should be prescribed only by a doctor. Problems with the kidneys are too serious to allow yourself to engage in self-medication.
Diet in the treatment of kidney disease is aimed at not overloading the diseased organ and improving the excretion of nitrogenous substances from the body, but at the same time the food should be rich in vitamins. The consumption of salt is necessarily restricted or eliminated altogether. It is recommended to boil or bake meat and fish, but do not fry. Use of liquid doctors advise to reduce to 1 liter per day. Alcohol, chocolate, coffee, spicy seasonings are prohibited.
With chronic nephritis, prevention is reduced to avoiding the exacerbation of the disease by all means. And for this it is recommended to be protected from infections, hypothermia and not to burden the organism with intensive physical loads. In addition, any medication, including anti-inflammatory drugs and analgesics, should be used with caution, only on indications and under the supervision of a doctor.