Kidney Diseases


Kidney Disease and Transplant Forum

Our mission is to support patients (adult and pediatric) and their families with during their time of need as they go through the End Stage Renal Disease and/or Transplant process with relevant information, support and access to helpful medical tools and resources.

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Types of Kidney Failure

There are five different types of kidney failure:

Acute prerenal kidney failure

Insufficient blood flow to the kidneys can cause acute prerenal kidney failure. The kidneys can’t filter toxins from the blood without enough blood flow. This type of kidney failure can usually be cured once you and your doctor determine the cause of the decreased blood flow.

Acute intrinsic kidney failure

Acute intrinsic kidney failure can be caused by direct trauma to the kidneys, such as physical impact or an accident. Causes also include toxin overload and ischemia, which is a lack of oxygen to the kidneys. The following may cause ischemia:

Chronic prerenal kidney failure

When there isn’t enough blood flowing to the kidneys for an extended period of time, the kidneys begin to shrink and lose the ability to function.

Chronic intrinsic kidney failure

This happens when there is long-term damage to the kidneys due to intrinsic kidney disease. Intrinsic kidney disease is caused by a direct trauma to the kidneys, such as severe bleeding or a lack of oxygen.

Chronic post-renal kidney failure

A long-term blockage of the urinary tract prevents urination. This causes pressure and eventual kidney damage.

Forms of Kidney Disease

I. Acute Kidney Injury

Acute kidney injury is sudden damage to the kidneys. In many cases it will be short term but in some people it may lead to long-term chronic kidney disease.

The main causes are:

  • damage to the actual kidney tissue caused by a drug, severe infection or radioactive dye
  • obstruction to urine leaving the kidney (for example because of kidney stones or an enlarged prostate).

People who have chronic kidney disease are also at increased risk of acute kidney injury.

II. Chronic Kidney Disease

More often, kidney function worsens over a number of years. This is known as chronic kidney disease. Sometimes it can progress to end stage kidney disease (also known as kidney failure),  which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to keep you alive.

There are different causes of chronic kidney disease, the key ones being:

  • damaged blood vessels to the kidneys due to high blood pressure and diabetes
  • attacks on the kidney tissue by disease or the immune system (glomerulonephritis)
  • the growth of cysts on the kidneys (polycystic kidney disease)
  • damage due to backward flow of urine into the kidneys (reflux nephropathy)
  • congenital abnormalities of the kidney or urinary tract.

There are many other causes of kidney disease, and sometimes the cause is not known. Regardless of the cause of the disease, some parts of the treatment are common to all. However, your doctor will always attempt to find the cause of your kidney disease as it may have important implications.


Most Common Kidney Diseases

The term kidney disease refers to any disease, disorder or condition that affects the kidneys. 

Alport Syndrome: A genetic condition characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss, and eye abnormalities. People with Alport syndrome experience progressive loss of kidney function. 

Diabetic Nephropathy: I
f you have diabetes, your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Over time, this can damage your kidneys. 

Fabry Disease: Results from abnormal deposits of a particular fatty substance (called globotriaosylcera-mide) in blood vessel walls throughout the body. The primary defect which allows this to occur is the inherited deficiency of the enzyme alpha galactosidase A. 

Focal Segmental GlomerulosclerosisFocal Segmental glomerulosclerosis is a type of glomerular disease and describes scarring (sclerosis) in your kidney.  The scarring of FSGS only takes place in small sections of each glomerulus (filter). 

Glomerulonephritis (gloe-mer-u-low-nuh-FRY-tis): Inflammation of the tiny filters in your kidneys (glomeruli). Glomeruli remove excess fluid, electrolytes and waste from your bloodstream and pass them into your urine. 

IgA Nephropathy (Berger’s Disease): A kidney disease that occurs when an antibody called immunoglobulin A (IgA) lodges in your kidneys. 

Kidney Stones: Renal lithiasis, nephrolithiasis are hard deposits made of minerals and salts that form inside your kidneys.                                            

Minimal Change Disease: A kidney disease in which large amounts of protein is lost in the urine. It is one of the most common causes of the Nephrotic Syndrome worldwide. 

Nephrotic Syndrome: A collection of symptoms that indicate kidney damage. Nephrotic syndrome includes Albuminuria

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD): A genetic disease (passed from an affected parent to their child) causing uncontrolled growth of cysts. 

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