Your kidneys have a vital role to play in your body functioning the way that it should. Your kidneys filter your blood and get rid of waste products. They also control your blood pressure, stimulate the production of red blood cells and balance levels of electrolytes in your body.
Your kidneys are placed in your abdomen near the back. One is located on each side of your spine, normally. Your kidneys receive their blood supply from the renal arteries directly out of your aorta, and they transport blood back to your heart through the renal veins to the vena cava. (The term “renal” is taken from the Latin name for kidney.)
Your kidneys have the capacity to monitor the acid-base balance of your body. They also monitor the concentrations of electrolytes like sodium and potassium and the amount of body fluid that is in your body. Your kidneys filter uric acid from DNA breakdown and waste products of your body metabolism like urea from protein metabolism.
Cacchi-Ricci disease is a disease in which tiny sacs that are referred to as cysts form in your medulla. This is the inner part of your kidney. These cysts create a sponge-like appearance. They prevent urine from flowing freely through your tubules. Tubules are tiny tubes that are located on the inside of your kidneys through which urine flows.
Some of the problems caused by Cacchi-Ricci disease are urinary tract infections, hematuria (blood in your urine) and kidney stones. In rare instances, this disease results in more serious difficulties like total kidney failure.
Although Cacchi-Ricci disease is congenital (present at birth), signs and symptoms do not usually begin until between the ages of 30 and 40. Cacchi-Ricci disease affects about 1 in 5,000 to 20,000 people in the United States. About 20% of the people who have kidney stones develop this disease.
Cacchi-Ricci disease may not cause you any signs or symptoms at all. Usually, the first sign or symptom of this disease is when you get a urinary tract infection or a kidney stone. Other possible signs and symptoms include:
- Urine that is dark, cloudy or bloody
- Burning or pain when you urinate
- Urine that smells really bad
- Pain in your back, lower abdomen or groin
- Chills and fever.