Hydronephrosis or swelling of the kidneys due to incomplete voiding of urine, needs urgent evaluation from a healthcare provider like Best urologist in Islamabad right away, or it may lead to permanent kidney damage.
Read on to know what are the causes of hydronephrosis and how to deal with it:
What is hydronephrosis?
Backflow of urine due to incomplete voiding or any constriction in the urinary tract leads to pressure on the kidneys that’s referred to as hydronephrosis. This condition of the kidneys may be unilateral or bilateral, depending on the causative factor. For instance, if there is a stone in one of the kidneys, there are higher chances of hydronephrosis there. On the other hand, if there is a tumor in the bladder, then both the kidneys would be impacted causing bilateral hydronephrosis.
Apart from tumors and stones, there are other causes of hydronephrosis as well, including: enlarged prostate, pregnancy induced pressure on the bladder, ovarian cancers, damage to the nerves around the bladder, or constriction anywhere in the urinary tract.
What are the signs and symptoms of hydronephrosis?
Hydronephrosis presents in adults with infrequent or light urination, often with backpain, abdominal pain and feeling of nausea. If this hydronephrosis is due to urinary tract infection or kidney stone, the patient may complain of blood in the urine. In severe infections, there may be high grade fever, as well.
In children, hydronephrosis presents with unexplained fever, blood in the urine, irritability, listlessness and multiple incidents of urinary tract infections. In very young children, hydronephrosis usually has an anatomic cause, which becomes evident on imaging investigations.
5 ways to deal with hydronephrosis
1. Get enough water
Intake of more water helps to dilute the urine and flushes out bacteria from the kidneys. A minimum of eight glasses or two liters of fluid should be consumed daily for dealing with hydronephrosis. In case of hydronephrosis in children, intake of fluid should be encouraged in the form of fresh juice, chilled herbal tea and even ice pops. Juice boxes and soft drinks, however, should be avoided as they may worsen the condition and even initiate bladder pain. Such drinks are riddled with preservatives and chemicals that the kidney has to detoxify, and the by-products end up irritating the bladder wall.
2. Avoid holding in the urine
The discomfort associated with hydronephrosis is worsened by holding in the urine as the reflux exerts more pressure on the kidney tubules. The patient should urinate every two hours or so, and hydrate thereafter. Children should also be encouraged to void as often as necessary.
3. Eat enough fiber
Constipation worsens pain and swelling on the abdomen, which in turn can intensify the hydronephrosis-associated discomfort of the patient. Therefore, patient should be encouraged to eat high fiber foods like fresh vegetables, coconuts, legumes, beans, and seeds. Gentle exercises like walking help to mobilize the bowels and prevent constipation. If need be, patient should ask the healthcare provider for supplements to loosen the stool.
4. Prevent UTIs
Some people are prone to developing urinary tract infections. Preventive measures should be taken by such patients to avoid UTIs. For instance, they should practice safe sex, urinate shortly thereafter and use condoms. Eating probiotic-rich foods, drinking plenty of water and wearing loose-fitting clothes are some common measures to prevent UTIs.
5. Deal with kidney stones
Kidney stones are less likely to form if you are taking a healthy and balanced diet. Certain conditions predispose to kidney stones—such as taking diuretics, gout, hyperthyroidism, chronic UTIs and inactivity. For help in dealing with kidney stones, book an appointment with a qualified nephrologist at oladoc.com.