Kidney disease (also referred to as renal disease) is quite common and impacts nearly 1 in 7 adults in the US. Having a basic idea of the root cause of this disease can make it easier to take betting control of the health of your kidneys. Also, if it is possible to take early action, there is the increased likelihood of being able to maintain the kidney function before the disease gets too serious.
What are the main causes?
There are many different causes that can lead to kidney disease, including:
- Diabetes – the most likely reason for a person to experience this disease is diabetes, which is known to relate to about 45% of all kidney failure cases. Even though diabetes is a risk factor, there is no reason to believe that everyone with this disease will eventually have kidney failure. For the diabetic patient, it is necessary to take extra care of the kidneys by having a regular microalbumin urine test performed to monitor the movement of protein and also to control blood sugar levels. In the event of developing kidney disease, there are several treatment options that can be recommended by your doctor to help prolong the function of this major organ.
- Hypertension (also called high blood pressure) is the next most reported reason and accounts for nearly 28% of cases.
- Other typical causes include birth defects, exposure to chemicals, autoimmune diseases, polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and glomerulonephritis which relates to inflammation of the kidneys.
It isn’t contagious.
Kidney disease isn’t something that can be caught from someone else. However, a few of the major reasons like high blood pressure and diabetes can run in the family. For this reason, if you know a family member with this disease it is worth having your kidney function, blood sugar and blood pressure checked by your doctor at the regular intervals.
Also, polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited condition that is not known to skip generations. This type of condition can lead to fluid filled cysts forming in the kidneys. In order to detect the cysts it is possible for your doctor to perform an ultrasound.
Preventing kidney problems
There are a variety of steps that can be taken to prevent issues with the kidneys. For instance, it can help to limit exposure to toxins or chemicals, such as pesticides, tobacco, and household cleaners. Also, take proper care with over-the-counter medication. A high dose of aspirin or a similar common drug can easily overload the kidneys due to high toxin levels. Learn about the different options for controlling kidney disease.
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