Causes of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease, also known as end-stage renal disease or kidney failure, is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Actually, kidney disease kills more Americans than breast and prostate cancer combined. Your kidneys filter waste and excess fluid from the blood which are then excreted in your urine. When kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, wastes can build up in the body.

There are many causes of kidney disease but the two most common causes are high blood pressure and diabetes. Sadly in the US, these causes are continuing to grow each year.

causes of kidney disease

How Does Diabetes Cause Kidney Disease?

Diabetes is a disease that hinders your body’s ability to produce or use insulin. Insulin tells the cells when to open and receive glucose. When this doesn’t happen, the glucose (or sugar) remains in the blood. High blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the kidneys. This can cause the kidneys to not work as they were designed to. There are several contributing factors that can speed up that process including smoking, eating foods high in salt, being overweight, inactivity, and having a family history of kidney disease.

How Does High Blood Pressure Cause Kidney Disease?

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is an increase in the amount of force that blood puts on the blood vessels as it pumps through the body. Many people with diabetes also develop high blood pressure. When the blood pressure is high, it causes the blood vessels to stretch and eventually this can cause scarring and weaken the vessels including those in the kidneys. If the kidney’s blood vessels are damaged, they may stop removing waste and extra fluid from the body.

Other causes of kidney failure include- Glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, overuse of over the counter pain medications, interstitial nephritis, autoimmune disease and other urinary tract problems.