Renal edema

Among disorders of the excretory system renal edema is one of the first places. Because the kidneys are the main organ of the filtration system of the human body, they experience a greater burden and susceptible to various diseases that often cause symptoms of swelling.

What it is

Swelling of the renal pathology is characterized by the violation of the filtration function of the body, which leads to imbalance of substances and the stagnant fluid in the kidneys and in the intercellular spaces of the body.

Feature of the disease is the similarity of its symptoms with signs of heart swelling, making it difficult to diagnose and sometimes leads to incorrect diagnosis.


Why swollen? The causes of renal edema can be divided into two groups. The first is the pathological mechanisms – the immediate causes of edema, the second disease of the body which accompanies the action of these mechanisms.

So, to pathological mechanisms causing disruption of the filtration bodies include:

  • proteinuria – blood proteins abnormally quickly penetrate membrane structures of the glomeruli into the primary urine, absorb liquid and grow in size. Pass through the walls of the tubules, they can not;
  • reducing protein in the blood due to their removal from the body together with urine. The process can also be associated with violation of the formation of protein by the liver;
  • the decrease in the speed of renal filtration due to low blood pressure or hypotension;
  • the increased permeability of the capillary – liquid and components of blood fall freely into the intercellular space;
  • the blood of a large number of sodium ions. May be due to their latency in the kidneys and uncontrolled consumption of salt;
  • an excessive amount intake of fluid slows down the filtration apparatus, which leads to its accumulation in the tissues.

Pathogenesis of renal edema associated with various pathologies of the organ.

The most common of these are:

  • Renal failure. It is a disease characterized by the violation of the basic functions of the kidneys filtration and maintaining water and electrolyte balance. If untreated there is a risk that the fluid accumulated in the body parts will go to other vital organs (e.g., liver) and cause serious consequences to health and life. Also in renal insufficiency, reduced level of albumin, resulting in a reduction in the volume of blood in the vessels.
  • Amyloidosis. The accumulation in the kidneys of the protein – amyloid, which clogs the membrane. Disturbed blood flow and the organ ceases to filter incoming material. As a result, the tissues and blood toxins accumulate. Occurs intoxication.
  • The formation of tumors. Reduction in filtration capacity of the kidneys may be due to the formation of these neoplastic lesions, which negatively affect the activities of the authority.
  • Glomerulonephritis. The defeat of the renal glomerular apparatus, triggered by immune complexes formed in the blood. The reason for their formation are different autoimmune and infectious diseases (e.g., streptococcal angina). Getting the immune complex in a filtration apparatus of the kidney it causes inflammation and growth of connective tissue. The filtration process stops.
  • Poisoning. Toxic effects on the body are stuck in it of heavy metals and hazardous substances is manifested in the death of healthy cells and replace them at the coupling structure, which is accompanied by failure and swelling of the kidneys.

In addition, disturbances in renal function may be associated with complications in diabetes mellitus, hepatic insufficiency, diseases of vessels and hearts, as well as response to various drugs.

In women, renal edema can be observed in the later stages of pregnancy.


Renal edema is itself a symptom of a person of serious pathologies, but there are some signs by which they are distinguished from edema of other origin:

  • pain in the lumbar region. Often disturb before the appearance of edema. They can be very intense and cause nausea and even vomiting. As a rule, irradiiruet pain in the groin area or in the leg from the side of the affected kidney. Renal colic (acute pain) indicate blockage of the ureter, kidney stones. Swelling becomes noticeable during the day after the attack of pain.
  • problems with urination. If the water retention in the body in urine output is reduced. The lower it is, the worse the patient feels. In addition, it may change urine color (becomes dark or, on the contrary, whitish), and in the process of urination a person experiences pain in the lumbar region.
  • neurological disorders. Toxic substances accumulated in the body begin to irritate the nerve tissue and cause conditions such as encephalopathy, polyneuropathy, dissiliency paralysis, uremic coma. The signs of intoxication are: drowsiness, itching, also sore muscles and head. If a person fails to seek help, intoxication will lead to arrhythmias and cardiac arrest.

Kidney stones can cause renal edema

Externally, the disease is manifested by swelling on the face – under the eyes there are bags, the skin is stretched and becomes glossy. Area of swelling is movable, normal temperature, but slightly paler than the surrounding skin. Swelling takes place as quickly as they came.


Symptoms of renal edema is the signal for immediate treatment for qualified help. The patient should schedule an appointment with an internist, a cardiologist and a nephrologist.

To determine the exact causes of swelling and to determine the course of treatment, specialists will examine and prescribe the patient the following investigations:

  • overall laboratory studies samples of blood and urine;
  • biochemical studies of blood and urine;
  • Doppler blood vessels of the body detection with ultrasound vascular pathologies, the presence of kidney tumors, as well as the establishment of blood flow velocity;
  • detection of rheumatoid factor. This is necessary in cases when there is suspicion for the development of glomerulonephritis on a background of strep throat;
  • functional tests of the kidneys to determine the quality of the work of the filtration apparatus.
The differences between edema renal and cardiac origin

Pathology of the filtration apparatus is not the only cause of edema. Often the problem lies in diseases of the cardiovascular system.

In order not to confuse one kind of swelling with others, should know the distinctive features of “heart” edema:

  • swollen lower extremity: the liquid is localized in the feet and legs, the horizontal position of the body – the lower back;
  • the skin in the area of liquid accumulation of the cold and have a bluish tint;
  • when pressed on the point of swelling a person feels pain;
  • swelling still;
  • the patient suffers from chest pain and shortness of breath;
  • urine does not change color;
  • the fluid accumulates slowly, and then long resolved.

The appearance of the swelling with a “heart” edema


After the diagnosis the patient undergoes a course of medical therapy, which typically includes:

  • the treatment of the disease, which became the root cause of swelling;
  • diuretics (rids the body of excess fluid);
  • compliance with salt-free diets or diet, reduction in salt intake and fluid;
  • receiving funds, strengthen the walls of blood vessels, as well as drugs that normalize fluid and electrolyte balance;
  • in the case of kidney failure, use of antibiotics, and autoimmune diseases – hormonal and anti-inflammatory drugs;
  • as first aid, as well as in addition to drug therapy the use of traditional medicine;
  • performing cardio and aerobic exercises.

In rare cases, when the organ is destroyed and the cells replaced by connective tissue, is a kidney transplant or dialysis.

Doctors strongly recommend not to self-medicate swelling of the kidneys and as early as possible to seek qualified help from professionals. You also need to follow the diet and salt intake and fluid, as the effects of renal edema it is easier to warn, than then long to be treated.

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