Frequently Asked Questions



How does high blood sugar from diabetes damage kidneys?

Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney problems (also called "renal insufficiency" or "kidney disease") in the United States. High blood sugar levels from poorly controlled diabetes damage the blood vessels and nephrons (filtering units) of the kidneys. When your kidneys are functioning properly, the glomeruli (blood-filtering units of the kidneys) keep protein inside the body. Your body needs this protein to stay healthy. High blood sugar can damage the kidney's glomeruli. When the kidneys are damaged, important proteins in the blood are lost in the urine. Damaged kidneys don't do a good job of cleaning out waste and extra fluids so not enough waste and fluids go out of the body as urine. Instead, they build up in your blood which can cause even further damage to your kidneys.
 

How does high blood pressure damage kidneys?

High blood pressure (also called "hypertension") is a condition that can damage your kidneys. Your kidneys act like a filtering system to get rid of excess water and wastes in the blood. Blood pressure is the force, or pressure, of the blood on the walls of your blood vessels. Over time, high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels and nephrons (filtering units) in the kidneys. The damaged nephrons can't do their job of filtering out all of the wastes, sodium and excess fluids from your blood. The excess fluid and sodium that stays in your bloodstream puts extra pressure on the walls of your blood vessels-raising your blood pressure even more. This extra pressure leads to further kidney damage.
 

Patient information: Protein in the urine (proteinuria)

The kidneys contain special filters called glomeruli to filter out toxic substances and waste products from the blood stream and transfer them to the urine so that they can be removed from the body. Read complete article in printable format.
 

What is Hematuria and how is it diagnosed?

Hematuria refers to blood in the urine. In some cases, blood makes the urine turn an abnormal color, while, in other cases, the urine appears normal. Hematuria may therefore be grossly visible or only visualized upon microscopic examination of the urine.
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What is Renal Replacement Therapy?

Renal replacement therapies are treatments for severe kidney failure, also called renal failure. When the kidneys are no longer working effectively, waste products and fluid build up in the blood. These therapies take over the function of the failing kidneys and remove the fluid and waste. Read complete article in printable format.
 

Patient information: Renal biopsy

A renal biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of kidney (also called renal) tissue is obtained. Microscopic examination of the tissue can provide information helpful in diagnosing and treating a renal disorder.. Read complete article in printable format.
 

What is Edema?

Edema means swelling in the small spaces that surround the body tissues and organs. Edema can occur nearly anywhere in the body. The location of the edema will depend, in part, on the underlying cause. Some of the most common sites are: Read complete article in printable format.
 

Patient information: What you need to know about glomerular disease?

Glomerular disease, or glomerulonephritis, is an inflammation of the glomeruli of the kidney. Glomeruli are structures composed of blood vessels, and are the first part of the kidney's filtering process. These structures are surrounded by tubules and tissues called the tubulointerstitial tissue. Read complete article in printable format.
 

What is Hypertension?

Hypertension is a medical term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted by circulating blood on the inner walls of the arteries that carry blood from the heart. It is measured based upon two values for arterial pressure: the systolic pressure as the heart contracts and the diastolic pressure as it relaxes between beats. Read complete article in printable format.
 

Patient information: Hypertension and diet and weight

Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a common condition that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Studies suggest that a person's diet and weight play an important role in the onset and persistence of hypertension, and that simple dietary changes and weight loss are effective measures for reducing blood pressure. Read complete article in printable format.
 

Patient information: Therapy for essential hypertension

Hypertension is the medical term for high blood pressure. Blood pressure refers to the pressure exerted by circulating blood on the inner walls of the arteries. It is measured based upon two values: Read complete article in printable format.
 

Patient information: Polycystic kidney disease

Normal kidneys filter out excess toxic and waste substances and fluid from the blood. In polycystic kidney disease, the kidneys become enlarged with multiple cysts that interfere with normal kidney function. This can lead to kidney (renal) failure.
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Patient information: The nephrotic syndrome

The term nephrotic syndrome refers to a distinct constellation of clinical and laboratory features of kidney (renal) disease. This syndrome may occur in association with a wide variety of primary kidney diseases as well as systemic diseases, such as diabetes mellitus. Read complete article in printable format.
 

Patient information: Kidney stones

Kidney stones (also called nephrolithiasis or urolithiasis) are a common health problem. It is estimated that 12 percent of men and 5 percent of women will develop a symptomatic stone by age 70. Fortunately, treatment is available to effectively manage most stones and steps can be taken to prevent their recurrence. Read complete article in printable format.