Renal parenchymal disease is not an independent disease and it is the general term for a group of renal impairments.
Parenchymal indicates the location of the damaged renal tissues. We know that kidney consists of two parts---renal parenchyma and renal pelvis. Renal parenchyma is made up of two parts---the outer part is renal cortex and the inner part is renal medulla. Renal cortex is made up of more than one million of nephron and medulla is of renal pyramid. Neprhon consists of glomeurli, renal capsule and renal tubules. Parts of renal cortex can stretch into medullary area and form renal column. So we can see that renal parenchymal diseases refer to damages and impairments in renal cortical and medullary areas.
Renal parenchymal disease can affect unilateral or bilateral kidneys. The common unilateral parenchymal diseases include countercurrent kidney disease, chronic pyelonephritis, hydronephrosis, renal carcinoma, etc and the common bilateral parenchymal diseases include glomerular diseases, chronic interstitial nephritis, adult PKD, etc.
Renal parenchymal diseases can cause many symptoms and complications such as high blood pressure, blood in urine, protein in urine, urinary tract infection, swelling in the feet, legs, arms and face as well as fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, itching, metallic taste in mouth, etc. Renal parenchymal diseases can cause renal fibrosis and scaring which will progress into renal failure if not treated timely and in this stage, patients need to take dialysis to sustain their life. Therefore if patients want to avoid dialysis, early diagnosis and timely treatments are very necessary. Since kidneys have strong compensatory ability and only when more than half of its functions are damaged can there be obvious symptoms and discomforts.
Physical examination has becoming more and more popular in recent years and the simplest tests such as urine test and blood test can detect it if there is something wrong with the renal parenchyma.
Timely and proper prevention measures can prevent further worsening of renal parenchymal damages and the development of renal failure, so that patients will not need dialysis.
However for those who are already starting dialysis, what can be done is to alleviate the discomforts and side effects of dialysis and at the same time to preserve and protect the remaining kidney function so as to reduce the frequency of dialysis.
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