HealthSeven signs you may have 'water on the kidney'. Uncovering the hidden toll of hydronephrosis

Seven signs you may have 'water on the kidney'. Uncovering the hidden toll of hydronephrosis

Never ignore the symptoms of hydronephrosis.
Never ignore the symptoms of hydronephrosis.
Images source: © Licensor

6:58 AM EST, January 9, 2024

Hydronephrosis, also known as 'water on the kidney', is a condition that leads to the dilation of the renal pelvis - the area of the kidney where urine accumulates. This occurs when the urine cannot flow smoothly from the kidney to the bladder, which may result from an obstruction in the urinary tract.

Increased pressure within the kidney results from this blockage, causing potential damage to kidney tissue over time. This could hinder the kidney's functionality, leading to significant health implications.

Hydronephrosis can be unilateral, affecting only one kidney, or bilateral, involving both kidneys. The onset can be acute or gradual, developing into a chronic condition.

What causes hydronephrosis?

Hydronephrosis can be congenital, being present from birth due to malformations in the urinary tract or kidney development disorders. It can also be an acquired condition. The acquired causes of hydronephrosis include:

  • kidney stones obstructing the urinary tract,
  • prostate diseases such as enlargement or cancer,
  • constriction of the urinary tract resulting from injuries, surgeries, or diseases like endometriosis,
  • urinary system infections,
  • tumors within the urinary system or in adjoining structures.

Prompt diagnosis and correct root cause treatment are crucial in preventing long-lasting kidney damage.

Recognizing the symptoms of hydronephrosis

Depending on the stage and cause of hydronephrosis, the symptoms can vary. Notable ones include:

1. Pain in the side or back, typically a dull, persistent discomfort on the side affected by hydronephrosis. The pain might intensify with movement.

2. Changes in urination patterns, including increased frequency, difficulty initiating urination, a sensation of incomplete bladder emptying, or painful urination.

3. Blood in the urine (hematuria) can be vividly noticeable or detectable only through lab tests.

4. Fever and chills, particularly when hydronephrosis is caused by an infection.

5. Nausea and vomiting, often accompanying acute stages of pain.

6. General weakness and fatigue.

7. High blood pressure.

Each of these symptoms could be indicative of hydronephrosis or other diseases. If any of the above symptoms manifest, consulting a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment is advised.

See also