Causes And Symptoms Of Kidney Blockage
Kidney blockage is of two types, one being the blocking of the flow of urine into the bladder, most often caused by kidney stones, though a condition such as an enlarged prostate can also cause a blockage. The second type is the blockage of the flow of blood through one of the arteries supplying the kidneys.
In cases where a kidney blockage is only partial, there may not be any noticeable symptoms at all, and when such a partial blockage does occur, a doctor may adopt a wait and see attitude, as such blockages often go away of their own accord.
When kidney blockage is severe or total, the symptoms are apt to be severe as well, whether it is the blood supply or urine flow that is being blocked. Total kidney blockage is a serious matter, and immediate medical attention is almost always required, not just to relieve the symptoms, but to save the kidney from possibly irreparable damage. If the blood supply is shut of from a kidney, symptoms will be felt immediately, which is a good thing, as permanent damage to the kidney will likely occur if the blockage lasts for more than an hour.
Flank Pain Is A Primary Symptom - When kidney blockage is accompanied by swelling (edema), flank pain is the usual symptom, although a general feeling of discomfort, malaise, or nausea may also be present. Flank pain is a pain in the side or in the lower back, on the side of the affected kidney, and is caused by pressure on the renal capsule, the kidney's outer covering when the kidney swells. Flank pain is often a strong indication that a kidney stone, large enough to cause blockage, is present, although kidney infections can also cause swelling and pain. If there is a blockage of blood flow, even a partial blockage, in one of the arteries supplying a kidney, flank pain may also be experienced.
Another symptoms of kidney blockage, be it blockage of urine flow or of the blood supply, is blood in the urine. There can be other causes of blood in the urine as well, but if blockage is the cause, there will most likely be pain experienced as well.
Vascular Disease Is A Cause - One of the principal causes of blockage of a kidney artery is peripheral vascular disease (PVD). PVD most commonly affects the large arteries in the arms or legs, but at times will affect the arteries supplying the kidneys as well. If kidney blockage is detected before it progresses too far, it can usually be treated with medication. Gross obesity can contribute to the problem, and those with diabetes sometimes will experience kidney blockage issues. When medication is deemed insufficient to treat the problem, surgery will usually be necessary to unblock the arteries. There are steps one who is susceptible to blockage problems can take to prevent such occurrences, steps which a doctor can usually provide useful information about.
For Most, An Uncommon Condition - One of the more troubling aspects of kidney blockage is that symptoms often do not manifest themselves until the problem becomes quite advanced or severe. Routine blood and urine tests, when done as part of an annual physical checkup, or done in the course of treatment for a systemic disease or disorder, will often indicate if a partial blockage is present, though imaging techniques usually must be relied upon to confirm a diagnosis that a blockage of some sort has occurred. Most people, unless they are significantly overweight, or heavy users of tobacco, are not prone to kidney blockage, a condition that for most of us can be regarded as rather uncommon.