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Diseases, disorders and injuries that could lead to kidney failure

Updated on August 19, 2016

Kidney Stones

When urine is formed, the salts and wastes that must be excreted from the body dissolve in the water of the filtrate. If salts such ascalcium and urea do not dissolve, then crystals, called kidney stones, are formed. These stones move through the kidney and can block the flow of urine. If these stones are very large, the person experiences a large amount of pain.

If the stones are larger than 2 centimetres , the stones are removed surgically.Smaller stones can be removed by shockwave therapy. The stones are shattered into small pieces, which can be passed out with the urine.

Bladder and Kidney Infections

Cystitis , or inflammation of the bladder, is a very common infection caused by bacteria which spread from the intestines through the anus and then into the urethra. Symptoms of cystitis include fever, blood in the urine , a burning sensation during urination and a frequent need to urinate, even when there is little or no urine in the bladder. Cystitis can be quickly treated with antibiotics.

If not treated, the bacteria can travel up the ureters to the kidneys and cause infection of the kidneys known as pyelonephritis.


The disease bilharzia is caused by the bilharzial parasite called Schistosoma. This parasite requires two hosts to complete its life cycle : certain species of snails and humans. Larval stages (called cercaria) pass out from the snail into water. These larval stages penetrate human skin and enter our blood system. They develop into adults, mate and produce eggs. Some of these eggs come to lie in blood vessels of our bladder and rectum. The eggs are able to pierce the blood vesseles because each of them has a sharp spine, and then enter our bladder or rectum, Some blood also passes into the bladder and rectum, because the blood vessels lining then them were broken. This is why a person infected with bilharzia passes out vblood with his/her urine or with faeces.

If an infected person passes blood or faeces in or near water, the eggs hatch into miracidia which enters the snail to continue their life cycle. Spread of the disease can be therefore be stopped by urinating or passing faeces in toilets rather than in the open. Treatment of those infected is by means of drugs prescribed by a medical practitioner.

Injuries to the Kidneys

Back injuries causd by sport, or accidents including falls and motor accidens, may lead to injuries to the kidney. The extent of the injury and the kind of treatment required will often depend on the seriousness of the injury. Sport injuries of the back which may lead to injuries of the kidney may be reduced or prevented by wearing protective clothing accessories such as corsets and/or back braces. Such clothing accessories are especially important for sports persons who engage in sports such as mounain climbing and weight-lifting.


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