Bladder and Kidney Problems

Bladder problems encompass a wide range of disorders, some of which cause pain, urinary incontinence or other complications that affect quality of life.  Problems in the urinary system can be caused by aging, illness or injury.  As a person gets older, changes in the kidneys’ structure cause them to lose some of their ability to remove wastes from the blood.  Also, the muscles in the ureters, bladder and urethra tend to lose some of their strength.  Urinary infections often occur because the bladder muscles do not tighten enough to empty the bladder completely.  A decrease in the strength of the muscles of the sphincters and the pelvis can cause incontinence (unwanted leakage of urine).

Illness or injury can also prevent the kidneys from filtering the blood completely or block the passage of urine.  The main cause of impaired kidney (renal) function is diabetes. It can lead to acute, chronic or end-stage renal failure.  Other renal conditions include kidney infections, kidney stones, nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and polycystic kidney disease.