What is Azotemia?
Azotemia is a condition where the kidneys do not produce enough urine. This condition may occur due to kidney disease or it could just be due to aging. There are different causes of azotemmia:
1) Kidney failure (Renal Cell Carcinoma): If there is renal cell carcinoma, then the kidneys cannot filter out toxins properly and they will fail completely.
This type of azotemmia is very rare.
2) Chronic kidney disease (End Stage Renal Disease): When the kidneys become damaged, they no longer function properly and eventually the body stops filtering toxins from their blood stream.
This is when the problem occurs.
3) Ureteric stones: These are small crystals that form inside the urethra and block up part of it causing pain in urination.
They usually appear after years of heavy drinking or smoking.
4) Urinary tract infections: These are common bacterial infections that cause inflammation in the urinary tract.
They often affect men and women equally.
5) Hyponatremia: This is caused by too much sodium in the blood.
Sodium is needed for many bodily functions like keeping your heart beating, breathing, and muscles working correctly. Too little sodium causes problems such as seizures, coma or death.
6) Kidney infections (pyelonephritis): This type of infection is not common and usually affects younger people.
If left untreated, kidney failure will develop.
7) Glomerulonephritis: This is a type of inflammatory disease that mainly affects the glomeruli of the kidneys.
The body stops producing urine effectively and it leads to nephritis or rash on skin.
8) Kidney stones: These are hard crystallized deposits that form inside the urinary tract.
They can cause severe pain when they pass out of the body through the urethra.
The causes of Azotemia are many, the main ones being diseases of the kidney and the urinary tract. There are also some underlying medical conditions that lead to this condition. Other causes are related to the drugs that are taken on a regular basis.
There are some medical conditions that affect elderly people and they may lead to Azotemia if not treated. Some of these conditions are:
1) Kidney disease: This condition is usually caused by diabetes, glomerulonephritis or kidney stones.
The blood supply to the kidneys becomes limited and it causes damage as a result. The damaged kidneys fail to function normally.
2) Urinary Tract Infection: This infection can be caused by a number of different types of bacteria and it affects males and females equally.
It causes the urine to become cloudy and painful when passing urine.
3) Prostate disease: This condition occurs due to an enlarged prostate and causes difficulty in urination.
It is common in elderly males.
4) Multiple Myeloma: This bone marrow cancer leads to kidney failure if not treated immediately.
Sources & references used in this article:
Azotemia and glucose intolerance by JM CERLETTY, NH ENGBRING – Annals of internal Medicine, 1967 – acpjournals.org
Pathophysiology of pre-renal azotemia by RC Blantz – Kidney international, 1998 – Elsevier
Renal oxalosis and azotemia after methoxyflurane anesthesia by JA Frascino, P Vanamee… – New England Journal of …, 1970 – Mass Medical Soc