Recently, I was in hospital for swelling of feet, hands, and face. A CAT scan was ordered. One of the things noted was slight atrophy of Kidneys. What does this mean? How do I prevent it from getting worse. Is it terminmal?
The normal kidney size of an adult human is about 10 to 13 cm (4 to 5 inches) long and about 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) wide.
Some important causes of small kidney include - congenital hypoplastic kidneys, reflux nephropathy, acute pyelonephritis, ischemic nephropathy, Chronic kidney disease or glomerulonephropathies.
To know the cause of your small kidneys, you may need to undergo a few tests include - urinalysis, blood tests, X rays and ultrasound of the kidneys.
If the renal function tests are abnormal, then the most likely cause would be Chronic renal disease.
Although many forms of kidney disease do not produce symptoms until late in the course of the disease, there are six warning signs of kidney disease:
1. High blood pressure.
2. Blood and/or protein in the urine.
3. A creatinine and Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) blood test, outside the normal range. (BUN and creatinine are waste that build up in your blood when your kidney function is reduced).
4. A glomerular filtration rate (GFR) less than 60. GFR is a measure of kidney function.
5. More frequent urination, particularly at night; difficult or painful urination.
6. Puffiness around eyes, swelling of hands and feet.
The treatment of CKD depends on the underlying condition, and the presence of issues and severity of proteinuria, hypertension, etc.
Only in severe conditions, where the kidney disease is progressing rapidly, does the life expectancy is reduced.
Even in such cases, regular dialysis and procedures like renal transplantation can help to prolong life.
Life span after kidney transplant might last for 15 -20 years, depending on the need for immmunosuppression and if âthere are no rejections.
Almost everyone feels that they have a better quality of life after the transplant. For those who receive a close âmatch, up to 90% are still alive after 1 year, and more than 70% are alive after 5 years. â
You might consult with a nephrologist along with all the medical reports and he may be able to review them and explain you in specific details about your current status and further management.
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