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Hydronephrosis: symptoms and causes

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Hydronephrosis is a condition associated with the upper urinary tract that causes either or both kidneys to swell. The condition takes place when the urine keeps flowing from the kidney to the bladder and does not let the body get rid of the urine completely, which may cause some symptoms like sudden and intense back or side pain, vomiting, blood in your urine, painful urination, weakness or fever as a result of urinary tract infection. There are a number of treatments available at a kidney hospital in Ludhiana that are approached in association with the underlying condition. 

The condition can vary from sudden or chronic, one-sided or bilateral, partial or complete. The condition is known as unilateral if only one side of the kidney is affected by hydronephrosis, and if both kidneys are affected, then the condition is known as bilateral hydronephrosis. The intensity of the condition can also vary from mild to severe swelling. 

The condition of hydronephrosis can lead to kidney failure or loss of kidney functions. However, in order to decrease the risk of long-term complications, the best urologist in ludhiana may approach some prompt treatments. 

How does a urinary tract work?

The urinary tract is responsible for the removal of waste and fluid from the body, and it consists of the following organs: 

  • Two kidneys: their job is to get rid of toxins and waste present in your blood. 
  • Two ureters: these are the ducts that are responsible for the flow of urine from the kidneys to the bladder. 
  • Bladder: the job of the bladder is to store the urine
  • Urethra: it is a tube that allows the urine out of the body. 

How common is hydronephrosis? 

Affecting 1 out of 100 individuals, people of all ages can be influenced by hydronephrosis at some point in their life. 

In an infant, the condition can occur due to blockage that can take place during foetal development. 1% of pregnancies encounter this condition, which resolves itself before birth most of the time. 

Symptoms of hydronephrosis

Symptoms of hydronephrosis depend on the cause of the condition. Generally the symptoms of the condition can not be seen. In babies, antenatal hydronephrosis does not cause any symptoms after birth. 

In case the symptoms occur, they include: 

  • Intense or sudden pain on your back or your back, abdomen, or side. 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Painful urination
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Blood in your urine
  • Urinating less or more than usual

If you have hydronephrosis, the chances of getting a urinary tract infection increase as the urine gets trapped in the body, which causes the bacteria to grow in the urinary tract. The symptoms of urinary tract infection include: 

  • Exhaustion, chills and fever
  • Burning or painful feeling when you pee
  • Cloudy pee, which is not clear

Causes of hydronephrosis

The majority of hydronephrosis cases are caused by blockage or obstruction in some parts of the urinary tract. Many conditions can cause the blockage. 

The conditions that generally cause hydronephrosis in adults include: 

  • Kidney stones: kidney stones are hard deposits composed of calcium and oxalate that can cause blockage in the kidney or the urinary tract. 
  • Ureteral obstruction: It is an obstruction inside the ureters. 
  • Tumours: the urine tract may keep the flow of urine going as a result of a tumour in the organs near the urinary tract, such as the uterus, prostate gland, bladder
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH): pressure on the urethra can be increased by the enlargement of the prostate gland. 
  • Narrowing of the urinary tract: this narrowing can be caused by an injury, surgery, infection, or birth disorder. 
  • Nerve or muscle problems: these problems can impact your kidney or ureters
  • Vesicoureteral reflux refers to the flow of urine back into the kidney from bladders. 
  • Uretrocele: this condition refers to the extension of the ureter into the bladder. 

In individuals with uterus, the occurrence of hydronephrosis can be due to: 

  • Pregnancy: as a result of the increasing size of the uterus, the ureter might get pressed, which may result in blocking the flow of urine. 
  • Uterine prolapse: This condition involves the sagging of the uterus and its disposition from its usual place.
  • Cystocele fallen bladder: this condition refers to the bladder falling into the vagina due to the weakening of the wall between the vagina and bladder. 

In babies, antenatal hydronephrosis can take place due to: 

  • The increased amount of urine produced by the foetus. 
  • The blockage in the urinary tract hinders the flow of urine. 
  • Reflux of the urine back into the kidney from the bladder.

These are the symptoms and causes of hydronephrosis. If you see any symptoms of this condition, be sure to contact the best urologist in ludhiana, as the condition, if left untreated, may also result in kidney failure or damage the functions of the kidney.

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