Renal Tubular Disorders – What Should You Know?

Renal Tubular Disorders – What Should You Know?


By Dr. Hasit Patel, Nephrology

Renal tubules, or kidney tubules, are each of the small pipes in the kidney that facilitate the excretion process by transporting water and minerals, or absorbing and releasing them. They are fine structures, and vulnerable to diseases of their own. Two of the most common such diseases are acute tubular necrosis and renal tubular acidosis.

Acute tubular necrosis

This is the damage or destruction of the renal tubules. It can lead to complete kidney failure.


• Feeling constant tiredness
• The frequency and quantity of urine fall drastically.
• You experience bloating from the fluid being stored for long inside your body.
• You have mental effects, like sudden confusion.

If you have had a recent traumatic injury or kidney injury, then the existing hurt or damage may cause clots in the tubes inside the kidney, leading to necrosis. Moreover, people whose bodies have been damaged by an inaccurate blood transfusion, or those who have had recent episodes of septic shock are likely to suffer from acute tubular necrosis.

How do you treat this condition?

Following are the ways to treat this condition-

• You should cut down on the amount of sodium and potassium in your diet.
• You should also reduce the level of water intake so that your kidneys do not have to deal with the excessive burden of filtering.
• If your condition reaches an extreme where your kidneys fail, you will have to resort to dialysis (external filtering mechanism) to restore your lifestyle to normal.

Renal tubular acidosis

This refers to the failure of kidneys to maintain a balance between the acid and base levels of your body. This causes an excessive amount of acid to remain behind in the blood. It can be caused by problematic genetic mutations, drugs that are very harmful to you, or poisonous substances entering your body in the form of a snake bite, etc.


• Pain in your back and the lower part of your stomach
• Urine is not clear fluid, and it hurts when you urinate
• There is increased urgency when you have to urinate
• You can experience pain in your muscles, and a lack of mental clarity

How do you treat this condition?

• You can cut down on the intake of drugs and medicines, which do not agree with your body and may have led to this disease in the first place.
• You can take over the counter medications for this disease, like bicarbonate supplements.

Kidney tubule diseases are dangerous conditions in the sense that they impair some structures critical to the normal functioning of your body. However, there are very evident symptoms by which you can diagnose them. After you find out, you should start treatment immediately.