Nephrosclerosis: symptoms and treatment

Nephrosclerosis is a pathology of the kidneys, which is characterized by the gradual death of nephrons — the cells responsible for the functioning of the organ, but replaces their growing tissue, not responsible for the kidney. The disease is characterized by the fact that the kidneys are compacted, wrinkled, respectively, lose their normal volumes and performance, resulting in the progression of renal failure.

The disease does not appear on its own, but arises against the background of other chronic or infectious processes in the human body, which are characterized by severe leakage. This disease is diagnosed in 600 people out of a million, 20% of whom live by hemodialysis, and 22% of the total number of cases die annually.

Such disorder has many different forms and several types of causes, but for any of them, for diagnosis it is necessary to pass urine analysis and undergo ultrasound examination. The main method of treatment — the maintenance of the vital functions of the kidney by hemodialysis or transplantation of a healthy organ.


As mentioned earlier, the causes of nephrosclerosis are of a different nature. So, the primary factors of the appearance of the disease are:

  • blood supply disorder
  • high blood pressure;
  • the formation of blood clots that block the flow of blood to the entire kidney or to certain areas of it, which can cause an organ infarction
  • Atherosclerosis — in which the lumen of the arteries narrows, by the formation and deposition of fats on them
  • the patient’s age
  • Decrease in the elasticity of the kidney vessels.

Secondary causes of nephrosclerosis are:

  1. diabetes;
  2. hormonal changes associated with pregnancy lead to a constant increase in blood pressure and the removal of protein from the body through the urine, which is the cause of nephron death
  3. chronic glomerulonephritis increases the likelihood of blood clots;
  4. pyelonephritis. Inflammatory disease, which progresses due to the ingress of viruses or bacteria with blood flow or when urine is returned from the bladder;
  5. formation of kidney stones
  6. pressure on the ureter
  7. Tuberculosis
  8. Lupus erythematosus — the body destroys its own cells
  9. occurrence of amyloid protein in the kidneys
  10. multiple injuries of this body
  11. consequences of surgery
  12. exposure to the body.


Depending on the cause, nephrosclerosis may be:

  • primary nephrosclerosis — caused by disorders within the body
  • secondary nephrosclerosis — emerged from the impact of any factors
  • hypertensive nephrosclerosis — appears against the background of high blood pressure and insufficient blood flow through narrow arteries. This type is divided into several forms — benign, it is possible to stop the progression of the disease, often manifests without symptoms, kidney failure develops more slowly, and malignant — renal dying occurs much faster. Also called arteriolosclerotic nephrosclerosis
  • Atherosclerotic nephrosclerosis — unlike other types, it spreads one-sidedly
  • diabetic nephrosclerosis affects the entire organ and proceeds in several stages. The first is characterized by a course without symptoms, at the second — blood pressure rises slightly, on the third, in addition to high pressure, there are strong swelling, and the fourth is characterized by renal failure, which manifests itself several years after the detection of protein in the urine.


As this disruption of the kidneys is characterized by the death of nephrons, the more they die, the more pronounced the symptoms will appear. At an early stage, nephrosclerosis is not manifested by any signs, but the more the development of the disease worsens, the more pronounced the symptoms will be:

  1. increase in the volume of urine emitted per day. For a healthy person, this figure is liter or one and a half urines, and in patients with nephrosclerosis the volume increases to two liters of secreted fluid per day
  2. frequent urge to urinate at night, rather than during the day
  3. a decrease in the volume of excreted urine is observed with the death of 70 or more percent of nephrons
  4. complete absence of urge to emit urine occurs with 90% nephron death
  5. urine is excreted with impurities of blood
  6. lowering the level of iron in the blood — originates from 65% of cell death
  7. detection of urine in the blood — occurs when almost all nephrons die
  8. the appearance of swelling that spreads from the face and further down the whole body
  9. increasing the body weight of the patient is caused by increasing edema;
  10. persistent high blood pressure;
  11. impaired visual acuity, sensation of fog before the eyes
  12. painful sensations in the chest and heart area
  13. bleeding of the nose and gums, subcutaneous hemorrhages are formed even with the slightest bruise
  14. strong and prolonged headaches that flow into the migraine
  15. A person’s predisposition to frequent fractures. The kidneys cease to convert vitamin D, so calcium is not absorbed into the intestine. A person can break a bone even when falling from a height of his own growth;
  16. decreased immunity, which is why a person is prone to frequent infectious and viral diseases.

If you seek help in the early stages of the manifestation of symptoms, the treatment will be much easier than if you do not contact the specialists for help in time.


The main task of diagnosis is the detection of nephrosclerosis in the early stages of the manifestation of symptoms. Diagnostic measures are presented in the form of the following complex:

  • Collecting complete information about the course of ailment — from the first time of the detection of symptoms, complaints about the patient’s discomfort, to the possible causes of the disease
  • blood tests in the laboratory — which will reveal a high level of urea, uric acid, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and creatinine, a decrease in protein concentration. Sodium is elevated, but it is possible for a person to reduce it by himself, limiting the addition of salt to the food. The level of hemoglobin and platelets is lowered
  • Urine analysis — which will show increased protein, erythrocyte appearance, and urine density decrease
  • kidney ultrasound;
  • Radiography with the introduction of a contrast medium
  • scintigraphy
  • CT of kidneys;
  • A biopsy — during which a small piece of organ is taken for subsequent microscopic examinations.

After receiving full information about the course of the disease, the results of the tests, the doctor determines the degree of severity of the pathology (directly depends on the symptoms of the disease) and prescribes the most effective treatment.


With the initial stages of nephrosclerosis, as well as a moderate manifestation of symptoms, treatment for ailment consists in:

  1. improving the blood flow in the kidneys. This method of therapy is only indicated in the initial stages, as it later causes severe bleeding;
  2. lowering blood pressure;
  3. Elimination of the disturbed balance of salts
  4. enrichment of the body with vitamins when carrying out appropriate injections
  5. increased hemoglobin and red blood cells
  6. Elimination of delayed proteins and toxins in the body.

With a more complex course of the disease, when the functioning of the kidney is not recoverable, other methods of treatment are provided, consisting of:

  • conducting hemodialysis — when the blood of a person is cleared through a special apparatus, the so-called artificial kidney. This process is as follows: the blood enters the apparatus from a single vein, there it is purified and enters the body through a tube on the other hand. This method of treatment is combined with taking medications;
  • Implantation of a healthy organ from a donor, next of kin or corpse

After the normal functioning of the kidneys, the patient must adhere to a special diet, which provides for the refusal to eat foods high in protein, limiting the use of edible salt for culinary purposes. Food should be balanced and enriched with vitamins. There should be several meals, preferably five, but in small portions. In addition, it is necessary to adhere to the drinking regime — if there are no edemas, use at least two liters of water per day, and with edemas — reduce, and drink less than a liter of liquid per day.