Shriveled kidney what is it, causes, symptoms and treatment

The human body is a very complex mechanism, for the well-oiled work of which the normal functioning of all its components is necessary.

The kidneys are the organ responsible for removing and filtering fluids from the body (and with it many toxins), cleansing the blood, producing hormones and many other functions. That is why a malfunction of the kidneys leads to a breakdown in the work of other organs.

What is a shriveled kidney?

One of the most common diseases of this organ is a shriveled kidney. This disease occurs due to the replacement of normal kidney tissue with connective tissue. Thus, the organ itself shrinks and ceases to function normally (sometimes completely). This disorder is also called nephrosclerosis.

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Classification of the disease

There are two forms of nephrosclerosis: primary and secondary wrinkled kidney.

  • Primary form. It occurs as a result of damage to the vessels of the organ. This can lead to violations of blood pressure.
  • Secondary form. This type of disease occurs in the human body due to the prolonged course of an inflammatory or infectious process. The pathology is accompanied by renal tissue (parenchyma) and can lead to chronic kidney failure. At the later stages of development, it leads to a complete loss of the organ’s performance without further recovery.

Causes of the disease

For each of the forms of this pathology, there are reasons.

  • Primary wrinkling. The main cause of the disease is problems with the vessels of the organ, therefore, the main causative agents of the primary form of nephrosclerosis are considered atherosclerosis (a chronic disease characterized by a decrease in the elasticity of the arteries, the formation of cholesterol plaques, narrowing of the lumen in the vascular canals), kidney infarction (death of a part of the organ, often due to blockage of the renal arteries), high blood pressure.
  • Secondary wrinkling is always accompanied by long-lasting diseases or inflammation of other internal organs. The most common among them are pyelonephritis (an inflammatory renal process that occurs against the background of an external infection), diabetes mellitus (lack of insulin in the body), the presence of kidney stones, glomerulonephritis (a bilateral inflammatory process), and kidney tuberculosis.


Symptoms of a shriveled kidney can have their own character, as well as hide behind the disease that led to nephrosclerosis.

For this disease, the most common symptoms are:

  • An increased amount of urination with a large output of urine (sometimes 2-3 times more). This change in the body is associated with a decrease in the filtration functions of the organ.
  • Increased blood pressure in the body.
  • The appearance of blotches in the urine. One of the main symptoms that manifests itself at an early stage of the development of the disease.
  • Pain in the lumbar region.
  • The destruction of the filtration section of the kidneys leads to an increased content of protein in the urine.
  • Increased swelling of the limbs. Due to problems in the functioning of the kidneys, sodium is poorly excreted from the body, which attracts excess fluid.

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When the first symptoms occur, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible for a quick diagnosis and treatment.

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis of this disease can be divided into three conditional stages:

  • Taking the patient’s history. At this stage, it is important to take into account not only the period, which is accompanied by symptoms of nephrosclerosis, but also the history of living conditions, bad habits, and chronic diseases. It is also important to take into account the possibility of transmission of the disease at the genetic level.
  • Laboratory tests. A general urine test, as well as general and biochemical blood tests are taken for delivery.
  • Other methods. An experienced doctor will carry out a mandatory feeling of the lower back for painful sensations, discoloration of the skin, etc. If necessary, procedures such as ultrasound, radiography, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography are possible.

Kidney shrinkage is treated with drugs only in the early stages of development. In this case, anticoagulants (anticoagulants), potassium, multivitamin complexes, iron preparations, sorbents are prescribed.

All appointments should be performed only by a doctor, self-medication in this case is absolutely unacceptable.

In the case of an advanced stage of the disease, the only option is surgical intervention to remove the damaged organ.

The operation is performed in three different ways:

  • Abdominal removal of the organ through an incision in the anterior abdominal wall.
  • Laparoscopy in the front of the abdominal cavity is performed with several small holes (for the probe, observation and scalpel) through which the operation is performed.
  • Endoscopy – removal is performed through a hole in the lumbar region without touching other organs.

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Preventative methods

First of all, timely treatment of pathologies of an infectious nature, which can provoke kidney shrinkage. Adequate treatment measures as well as periodic check-ups with doctors can minimize the risk of illness.

It is also very important to adhere to an active lifestyle, rejection of bad habits, dietary nutrition, use of purified water, exclusion of injuries and hypothermia of the lumbar region.

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Tatyana Jakowenko

Editor-in-chief of the Detonic online magazine, cardiologist Yakovenko-Plahotnaya Tatyana. Author of more than 950 scientific articles, including in foreign medical journals. He has been working as a cardiologist in a clinical hospital for over 12 years. He owns modern methods of diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and implements them in his professional activities. For example, it uses methods of resuscitation of the heart, decoding of ECG, functional tests, cyclic ergometry and knows echocardiography very well.

For 10 years, she has been an active participant in numerous medical symposia and workshops for doctors - families, therapists and cardiologists. He has many publications on a healthy lifestyle, diagnosis and treatment of heart and vascular diseases.

He regularly monitors new publications of European and American cardiology journals, writes scientific articles, prepares reports at scientific conferences and participates in European cardiology congresses.