Nephropathy: Everything You Need To Know



0:00 Introduction
1:09 Causes of Nephropathy
2:01 Symptoms of Nephropathy
2:19 Diagnosis and Treatment of Nephropathy
3:05 Treatment for Nephropathy

Kidney disease, or renal disease, technically referred to as nephropathy, is damage to or disease of a kidney. Nephritis is an inflammatory kidney disease and has several types according to the location of the inflammation. Inflammation can be diagnosed by blood tests. Nephrosis is non-inflammatory kidney disease. Nephritis and nephrosis can give rise to nephritic syndrome and nephrotic syndrome respectively. Kidney disease usually causes a loss of kidney function to some degree and can result in kidney failure, the complete loss of kidney function. Kidney failure is known as the end-stage of kidney disease, where dialysis or a kidney transplant is the only treatment option.

Chronic kidney disease is defined as prolonged kidney abnormalities (functional and/or structural in nature) that last for more than three months.[1] Acute kidney disease is now termed acute kidney injury and is marked by the sudden reduction in kidney function over seven days. In 2007, about one in eight Americans had chronic kidney disease.[2] This rate is increasing over time[1] to where about 1 in 7 Americans are estimated to have CKD as of 2021.[3] Causes of kidney disease include deposition of the Immunoglobulin A antibodies in the glomerulus, administration of analgesics, xanthine oxidase deficiency, toxicity of chemotherapy agents, and long-term exposure to lead or its salts. Chronic conditions that can produce nephropathy include systemic lupus erythematosus, diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure (hypertension), which lead to diabetic nephropathy and hypertensive nephropathy, respectively.
Main article: Analgesic nephropathy

One cause of nephropathy is the long term usage of pain medications known as analgesics. The pain medicines which can cause kidney problems include aspirin, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This form of nephropathy is "chronic analgesic nephritis," a chronic inflammatory change characterized by loss and atrophy of tubules and interstitial fibrosis and inflammation (BRS Pathology, 2nd edition).

Specifically, long-term use of the analgesic phenacetin has been linked to renal papillary necrosis (necrotizing papillitis).
Main article: Diabetic nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy is a progressive kidney disease caused by angiopathy of the capillaries in the glomeruli. It is characterized by nephrotic syndrome and diffuse scarring of the glomeruli. It is particularly associated with poorly managed diabetes mellitus and is a primary reason for dialysis in many developed countries. It is classified as a small blood vessel complication of diabetes.[4]
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease

Gabow 1990 talks about Autosomal Dominant Polycystic Kidney disease and how this disease is genetic. They go on to say "Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is the most common genetic disease, affecting a half million Americans. The clinical phenotype can result from at least two different gene defects. One gene that can cause ADPKD has been located on the short arm of chromosome 16."[5] The same article also goes on to say that millions of Americans are effected by this disease and is very common.
Long COVID and Kidney Disease

Yende & Parikh 2021 talk about the effects that COVID can have on a person that has a pre-existing health issue regarding kidney diseases. "frailty, chronic diseases, disability and immunodeficiency are at increased risk of kidney disease and progression to kidney failure, and infection with SARS-CoV-2 can further increase this risk” (Long COVID and Kidney Disease, 2021).[6]
Should I get screened?

If your wondering if you should get screened you might want to wait. From the article "Screening for chronic kidney disease: which strategy?" Hallan & Stevens 2010 write "Screening for CKD in the general population is still not recommended. However, high-risk groups like patients with diabetes mellitus or hypertension and subjects above age 60 should have their glomerular filtration rate estimated and be tested for albuminuria”.[7] If you don't know if you are at risk you will want to talk to your doctor.
Higher dietary intake of animal protein, animal fat, and cholesterol may increase risk for microalbuminuria, a sign of kidney function decline,[8] and generally, diets higher in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains but lower in meat and sweets may be protective against kidney function decline.[9] This may be because sources of animal protein, animal fat, and cholesterol, and sweets are more acid-producing, while fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are more base-producing.
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