There are various causes of kidney disease. The most common causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. But what actually happens to the kidneys when you get kidney disease? A normal person has two kidneys located on either side of the spine. When a person suffers from kidney disease, it affects your one or both kidneys.
Kidney disease affects a lot of body functions
Kidney disease affects the body’s ability to clean the blood and flush out excess out from the body. When there is damage to the kidneys, waste products and fluids start building up in the body. Even the production of red blood cells may reduce. In addition, the kidneys might swell causing nausea, vomiting, weakness and shortness of breath. If the disease is left untreated, the kidneys may stop working, which can be life-threatening. More advanced kidney problems may need a kidney transplant or dialysis.
Also Read: 8 Signs that you have Kidney Stones
Here are the common causes of kidney disease
Diabetes with kidney disease can be more harmful than any kidney problem alone. It is more likely to cause kidney problems such as bladder infection. There are two different situations- kidney disease in type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
In type 1 diabetes, kidney disease may not be diagnosed in the first few years. Whereas, in type 2 diabetes, most of the times patients usually have kidney problem by the time they are diagnosed.
Symptoms of diabetes along with kidney disease:
- Swelling in feet, hands and face
- Poor diet
- Itching and irritation on skin
High blood pressure
High blood pressure is another main cause of kidney disease. It is due to hypertension that can make removal of waste products difficult from the body. The waste keeps building up in the body. The symptoms of kidney stones along with high blood pressure are:
- Blood pressure getting worse
- Decrease in amount of urine or difficulty urinating
- Edema in lower legs
- Frequent urination during night
People are not sure what to do when they have a family history of kidney problems. First of all, contact a doctor to know the preventive measures. Also, get yourself diagnosed in regular intervals to know early symptoms. There are two types of kidney disease known to be inherited:
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
- Fabry disease
PKD refers to genetic disease that appears in adults. It is less common in children and infants. In this condition, cyst or pus-filled sacs are found in the kidney and they may affect nearby organs such as the liver or pancreas. Even one abnormal gene can cause kidney disease. Suppose a person has two children, both of them have equal chance of developing the problem.
Fabry disease can cause varying symptoms from mild to life-threatening.
Being obese or overweight may directly affect your kidneys. Extra weight puts pressure on the kidneys and may filter more waste than normal levels. This extra filter increases the risk of kidney disease. (Also Read: 9 Tips to loose Weight in 30 Days)
Other causes of kidney disease are
- Misuse of medicines such as painkillers or illegal drugs
- Old age
- Abnormal kidney structure
- Heart disease
- Injury in past affecting kidneysAlso Read: Food that can cause kidney stones
Ways to prevent kidney disease
- Eat healthy
- Stop smoking
- Maintain healthy weight
- Manage other medical conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure
- Follow instructions on medicines for the existing health condition
- Exercise and physical fitness is equally important
Kidney disease can affect almost every part of the body and can result in complications such as anemia, weak bones, decreasing sex drive due to pain and irreversible damage to the kidneys that needs proper treatment and dialysis. Even if one of these problems pertains, do not hesitate to consult a doctor for kidney disease as it may complicate your day-to-day life.