Our kidneys filter waste and excess fluids from our body and then flush them out in urine. If something disrupts this balance and orderly function, chronic kidney disease and kidney failure can occur. What are your risk factors for kidney disease?
Two Direct Causes Of Kidney Disease
High blood pressure and diabetes are the two primary causes of kidney disease. Keeping your blood sugar and blood pressure in check are your best defenses against kidney disease. At the same time they are also risk factors. Pay close attention to the following risk factors, and take action to mitigate them.
Insulin helps us use sugar for energy. When someone has diabetes, your body cannot make or use insulin properly. If someone doesn’t manage their blood sugar, it can lead to chronic kidney disease.
High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a serious risk factor for kidney disease. When the heart works too hard to pump blood, damage to blood vessels occur leading to chronic kidney disease.
Having A Family History Of Kidney Disease
If you have a family member who has or had kidney disease, you are at a greater risk to develop kidney disease.
Being African American, Hispanic, Asian, or Native American
If you are one of these nationalities, you already are at risk for kidney disease since you are more likely to have high blood pressure and diabetes.
Having Heart Disease
When you have a form of heart disease, it becomes harder for the kidney to work properly leading to kidney disease.
Those adults over the age of 60 are at a higher risk for developing kidney disease. Kidneys begin to lose functional capabilities, and in addition, those over 60 are more likely to have high blood pressure or diabetes.
You are at a higher risk for kidney disease simply because you are more at risk from diabetes and high blood pressure when you are overweight.
When someone smokes, it causes high blood pressure. Smoking also blocks blood vessels so the kidneys don’t get sufficient blood flow. This ultimately damages the kidneys
Manage Risk Factors For Kidney Disease
No matter your age or other dispositions, you can help manage the above risk factors by concentrating on the following:
- Stop smoking
- Keep blood sugar and blood pressure within normal levels by getting more active.
- Eat less salt and more fruits and veggies
- Lose some weight
The Biggest Risk Of All
When the kidneys don’t function as they should, dangerous levels of fluid and waste collect in the body leading to kidney failure. If kidney disease is not controlled and monitored, it can require dialysis, (artificial filtering) or a transplant.
See Southland Urology to regularly monitor your kidney function.