Risk Factors of Chronic Kidney Failure

The body has two kidneys, which are responsible for cleaning the fluids in the body, as well as regulating several very important hormones. Often, kidney failure goes unnoticed by the individual for some time, with only about 10% of those with chronic kidney failure being aware of the condition. Since so many people are not aware they have the disease, understanding the risk factors is essential for helping make those who might have the disease be more studious.

Who Can Suffer From Kidney Related Problems?

People of all ages and ethnicities can develop kidney problems, but it is slightly more common in males than females. Among different ethnic groups, African Americans, Native Americans, and those from the Pacific Islands are at a significantly increased risk for developing kidney problems.

Genetics are also an important factor, with many of those with parents or siblings with kidney problems developing some sort of kidney disease later in life. For example, about half of the children of those who have polycystic kidney disease, which is characterized by the development of cysts on the kidney, will go on to develop some sort of kidney related disease.

Diseases that Are Related to Kidney Failure

In addition to things like ethnicity and genetics increasing the risk of kidney failure, certain diseases can also greatly increase the likelihood of developing kidney problems.

Of the different diseases that can increase the risk of developing kidney problems, Diabetes Mellitus is one of the leading factors that can increase the chance of developing kidney failure. Often, those with unregulated diabetes, will experience the most problems and these will often go away when insulin and glucose levels are carefully monitored.

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is another factor that is linked to kidney disease, which could be related to the important role of the kidneys in producing hormones that help regulate blood pressure. As such, properly regulating blood pressure is considered to be an essential step in the treatment of chronic blood pressure.

Another disease that has shown to be related to chronic kidney failure is Potassium Deficiency, with insufficient levels of potassium being shown to interfere with the function of the kidneys. In many cases, reestablishing potassium levels will restore kidney function, but this is not always the case.

Other Factors that can Cause Chronic Kidney Failure

There are many prescription medications that can interfere with the function of the kidneys, so those who are prescribed these medications are at a higher risk for developing kidney failure. Of the different medications that can interfere with kidney function, pain killers are the most dangerous, so many of those who are addicted to pain killers and take them without regulation of a doctor are at a much higher risk of developing kidney problems.

Lithium, which is a medication used to treat bipolar disorder is often considered to be one of the most dangerous drugs that can damage the kidneys, with many of the alternative treatments damaging the liver.

Obstruction of the flow of urine, such as can be caused by an increased prostate, can also lead to kidney problems.

A commonly held belief is also that eating foods that are too high in protein can cause kidney damage, however this is not supported by scientific evidence.

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