Kidney Health – Non-Cancerous
Your kidneys are small but mighty organs that play an essential role in keeping you healthy. Kidney Health includes the study and treatment of stone disease, as well as the use of minimally invasive surgery and its applications within the genitourinary system.
What Do the Kidneys Do?
The kidneys remove waste from your blood after digestion and exposure to chemicals, they balance water and minerals like sodium and potassium in your blood, they produce a substance (renin) that helps your body manage blood pressure, and they make a form of Vitamin D essential for bone health, among other functions.
Take Control of Your Kidney Health
Weill Cornell physicians can help you understand what causes kidney conditions, what types of problems they may cause, and options for nonsurgical as well as surgical management. When surgery is necessary, our expert kidney doctors in New York are proud to provide minimally invasive surgical techniques, including laparoscopy and robotic surgery.
What Causes Kidney Disease?
Lack of blood flow to the kidneys, direct damage to the kidneys, and urine backing up into the kidneys can cause acute or chronic kidney disease. These problems can happen as a result of a traumatic injury, from severe dehydration, from a sepsis infection, from long standing blockage from an enlarged prostate, from complications during pregnancy (eclampsia and pre-eclampsia), or from certain drugs or toxins.
In the U.S., the two main causes of kidney failure are type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Another common cause is glomerulonephritis, which damages the filtering units of the kidneys, called glomeruli; the cause of glomerulonephritis is unknown—it may be inherited or triggered by an infection.
Another common problem is that of kidney stones, which form when your urine is unable to dilute crystal-forming substances such as calcium, oxalate and uric acid. There are several different types of kidney stones, and the type helps determine the cause.
Who Is at Increased Risk for Kidney Disease?
- Anyone with high blood pressure
- Anyone with diabetes
- Anyone who is obese (body mass index over 30)
- Anyone with a family history of kidney failure
- Anyone age 60 and older