Chronic vesicoureteric reflux is an ailment that is characterized by the backward flow of urine into your kidney. This leads to damage to your kidneys.
Urine flows out of your kidneys by way of your ureters and into your bladder. Each one of your ureters has a one-way valve at the point where urine goes into your bladder. The purpose of this one-way valve is to keep urine from flowing back up through your ureter and into your kidney.
Chronic vesicoureteric reflux takes place when these valves do not function the way that they should. Urine is then permitted to flow back up into your kidney when this occurs. If your bladder is infected or your urine contains bacteria, your kidney is placed at risk for getting pyelonephritis (infection).
What the reflux of urine does is expose your kidney to unusually high pressure. The reason for this is because the pressure in your bladder is usually higher than the pressure in your kidney. With the passage of time, this increased pressure results in scarring (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) and damage to your kidney.
Chronic vesicoureteric reflux is known by other names. It is also referred to as chronic atrophic pyelonephritis, reflux nephropathy, nephropathy – reflux and ureteral reflux.
It is estimated that about 4 out of every 1,000 people in the United States have chronic vesicoureteric reflux without having any signs or symptoms at all. Up to 50% of infants and children in the United States who have urinary tract infections, also have chronic vesicoureteric reflux.
Chronic vesicoureteric reflux may develop in people whose valves of their ureters do not function right or whose ureters do not attach the way that they should to their bladder. This can be the result of a birth defect.
There are other conditions that may lead to chronic vesicoureteric reflux. These include:
Bladder outlet obstruction
Chronic vesicoureteric reflux may also be caused by swelling of your ureters that takes place after some kind of trauma to your ureter or a kidney transplant.
As mentioned earlier, you may not experience any signs or symptoms with chronic vesicoureteric reflux. You also may not have any signs or symptoms if only one of your kidneys is affected by this ailment.
If you do have signs and symptoms with chronic vesicoureteric reflux, they may be like the signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection, chronic kidney failure or nephrotic syndrome. Some of the possible signs and symptoms that you may have are:
Increased urination at night (nocturia)
The feeling that your bladder in not fully emptying when you urinate
Stinging or burning with urination
Repeated urinary tract infections in a female
A single urinary tract infection in a male
Dark or foamy urine
Blood in your urine (hematuria)
Back pain, abdominal pain or flank pain.
There are other possible signs and symptoms that you may experience with this ailment. These include:
Vomiting and nausea
- Urinary Tract Infections: The Basics (everydayhealth.com)
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