Hydronephrosis is a health problem related to the kidney. Go through this article to know about the various causes of this health issue.
When humans pass out urine, it flows out of the kidneys under an extremely low pressure. But sometimes due to blockage in the kidney, the urine starts getting stored up in the bladder, and distention or dilation of the kidney takes place. This is called hydronephrosis. If this problem is not treated on time, it can also lead to other health problems, mainly related to the kidney.
The pressure that is exerted due to the collected urine might damage the cells of the kidney or it might also decrease the rate of blood filtration within the kidney. The problem might either be unilateral where only one kidney is affected or it might also be bilateral where both the kidneys are affected. There are several hydronephrosis causes and some of the most common ones have been described here.
There are several causes of hydronephrosis, one of the most common cause being blockage at the junction of the renal pelvis and ureter. The causes are usually based on the area of the swelling which can either be intrinsic where the cause is situated inside the urinary collecting system, or extrinsic where the cause is located outside the urinary collecting system. The causes also depend upon whether its just one or both the kidneys that have been affected.
If one of the ureter is blocked then unilateral hydronephrosis is said to occur. This blockage can be caused due to the following reasons:
- Formation of stone in the ureter or kidney stone are one of the main causes.
- Due to some sort of injury or infection, the narrowing of the ureter also causes blockage. The ureter might also narrow down due to some kind of a surgery or it might also be a birth defect.
- Formation of a tumor either near the kidney or maybe near the ureter can also cause blockage.
- If the nerves or the muscles in the ureter are damaged due to certain other reasons, then again there are chances of the ureter getting blocked.
- An artery or vein placed in an awkward position, might squeeze the ureter which can also block the pathway of the urine.
- If the kidney develops in an incorrect manner which leads the ureter joining the kidney at a much higher point, is also another hydronephrosis cause.
The various symptoms of this type of a problem are usually:
- Pain in the flank region
- Pain while urinating
- Increase in the urge to pass out urine quite frequently
- Infection in the urinary tract
- Fever, vomiting and nauseating feeling.
Unilateral hydronephrosis can occur in every 1 out of 100 people, as several studies have shown.
From the term itself it will be clear to you that bilateral means that both the kidneys will be affected. This usually occurs when the urine fails to flow down into the bladder through the ureter, in both the kidneys. In this case there is some kind of blockage either in the bladder or near the bladder. Here are some causes of bilateral hydronephrosis:
- Formation of stone in the bladder can often lead to hydronephrosis.
- If there is a blood clot within the bladder or maybe a tumor in the bladder.
- If the one way valve in the bladder is damaged due to some other health related issues, then the urine flows back from the bladder to the kidneys.
- People who are suffering from prostate cancer or those who have got an enlarged prostate gland, are at a risk of suffering from bladder problem as the prostate might exert pressure on the bladder.
There are also various symptoms which are mainly visible during the ultrasonography of a pregnant woman, and sometimes the increased number of urinary tract infection may indicate this condition.
Of course, there are treatments like dialysis which can help you in setting the kidneys back in its proper condition. If you or anyone in your family are showing the above symptoms or facing problems while urinating, then its best that you visit the doctor immediately. With proper care, this problem can be rectified.