Kidney is one of our vital organs. It removes excess fluid, waste, toxic substances from the blood, regulates blood volume and controls our blood pressure. Click here for more detail about the kidneys and how they work. When the kidneys fail to function normally because of some factors, many symptoms will be present. One of the symptoms is water retention or swelling especially in the legs, feet or ankles and potentially in the hand, face or body cavity.

Read also Other Causes of Fluid Retention in the Face.

Kidney problems that cause water retention or swelling:

Chronic kidney disease

  • This is a condition where the kidneys loss its functions gradually over a period of months or years.
  • Chronic kidney disease is usually caused by: process of certain diseases such as diabetes and glomerulonephritis, high blood pressure, use of certain medications such as analgesics, hardening of the arteries, etc.
  • Because the kidneys fail to excrete salts into the urine as normal as it should, fluid accumulates in the body thus lead to ankle, feet and leg swelling. It can also cause swelling in the abdominal.

Kidney failure

The edema suffered by this child was caused by nephrosis associated with one type of malaria, Plasmodium falciparum. Swelling of the abdomen, eyes, feet and hands are some of the symptoms of nephrosis brought oon by the damaged kidneys. If not promptly treated, may cause kidney failure.Kidney Failure, Diseases and Water Retention

Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys loss its functions partly or completely. Kidney failure usually causes generalized swelling or edema.

Glomerular disease

  • Glomerular disease is a condition where the filtration system of the kidneys is damaged.
  • Glomerular disease will cause:
    • Insufficient filtration rate of the kidneys
    • Large amounts of protein leak into the urine
    • Low amounts of protein in blood
    • Blood in the urine
  • Albumin is part of the protein. It helps hold salt and water in the bloodstream. Thus, when the protein level in blood is too low, the water will leak out into the body tissues or other body cavities causing swelling in the legs, feet, ankles, hands, face, and abdominal.
  • Two main categories of glomerular disease:
    • Glomerulonephritis - Glomerulonephritis is a condition where the glomeruli of the kidneys are attacked leading to the inflammation and leaking of glomerulus. The inflammation causes holes in the kidney membranes.
    • Glomerulosclerosis - Glomerulosclerosis is scarring or hardening of the glomeruli.