How the Kidneys Are Affected
The extent that the kidneys are affected depends on the time and severity of the blockage. If there is little or no emptying of urine over time, the kidney function will be compromised. The longer the kidneys stay obstructed, the less likely that the kidney function will return to normal.
|Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis|
As many men get older, they develop difficulties with urination. The most common cause of this can be benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), especially in men over the age of fifty-five. The prostate is linked to the bladder like a ball to a glove; when the prostate gets larger it can block the flow of urine from the bladder. BPH is the most common cause of kidney obstruction in men.
Often, men will complain of difficulty starting urination, of often having to get up at night to urinate, and of the need to urinate frequently. If both kidneys are blocked, they may have trouble going at all. Conversely, there may be no symptoms at all, especially if only one kidney is affected.
Standard Diagnosis and Treatment Approaches
The simplest test that your doctor will order if she suspects kidney blockage is an ultrasound of the kidneys. The majority of the time, it will show an enlarged kidney, which is a sign of a blocked kidney. At this time, your doctor will most likely ask you to see a urologist - a doctor who specializes in the "plumbing" of the kidneys. The urologist will often ask you to undergo another, more comprehensive test such as a CAT scan or MRI to get a better picture of the blockage.
Once the diagnosis of an obstructed kidney is made, the urologist will likely need to do more invasive studies to determine the cause of the obstruction and alleviate the symptoms. If the cause is due to an enlarged prostate, then there are different options the urologist will discuss with you. The necessity of an invasive procedure will be determined by the degree of prostate enlargement. There are other procedures that may be performed by the urologist, but that is beyond the scope of this post.
In kidney disease, it is important that doctors begin to think outside the box with regards to standard medical treatments. Nephrotic syndrome and glomerulonephritis are two examples of when this proves beneficial. Lifestyle changes, such as the avoidance of high-allergy foods and the use of a low-allergen diet, helps reduce proteinuria in many cases. This is not to say that standard treatment doesn't have its place, but dietary modification is an important part of the therapy.
If you have kidney disease, a kidney ultrasound should be part of the diagnostic work-up. In many cases, you may never know you have an obstructive process affecting the kidneys unless your doctors look for it. To find out more, you can check out Chronic Kidney Disease Diagnosis.