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What Does Shrinking Kidneys Mean

2013-01-24 15:27

Normally we all have two kidneys with the size of 10-12length, 5-6 width and 3-4 thickness. Under normal circumstances the right kidney is slightly smaller than the left kidney. Of cause not everyone have the same large kidneys and the kidney size has much to do with a person’ s age, gender, body weight and height.

For example, babies have relatively small kidneys and the kidneys will experience gradual growth and enlargement along with age. And the kidneys will again become smaller when people grow older and older.

Kidney shrinking here does not mean the natural physiological change of aging, but a pathological process caused by various renal parenchymal diseases or renal vascular disease or even physical traumas.

Along with kidney shrinking, renal tissues will be damaged and renal functions will be gradually lost. If kidney shrinking is not blocked and treated properly and timely, it will in the end progress into renal failure.

Shrinking kidney can affect unilateral kidney or bilateral kidneys which can be caused by congenital renal agenesis, acute glomerular diseases, diabetic nephrosclerosis, organ rejection after kidney transplant, chronic glomerulonephritis, renal cortical necrosis, Alport syndrome, acute tubular necrosis, hypertensive nephrosclerosis, renal tuberculosis, renal artery stenosis etc.

Patients with shrinking kidneys will have the following symptoms and discomforts---nausea, vomiting, fatigue, anemia, edema, skin itching, back pain, high blood pressure, loss of body weight or even blood in urine, etc.

When more than 50% kidney functions are damaged, there will be abnormalities in laboratory results such as high creatinine and high BUN.

How should I know if my kidneys are shrinking?

As one common item in routine tests, B ultrasound is the most convenient and simplest check for shrinking kidneys. What is more, it is cheap and causes no additional injuries to the kidneys, therefore B ultrasound can be done regularly to monitor illness progression and assess the curative effects of treatments.


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