Sunday, June 24, 2012

Causes of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is quite a danger to your overall health due to the role your kidneys play in a wide range of important bodily functions. Damage typically develops gradually over a long period of time. Just one kidney may be affected, but generally, damage occurs in both.

Symptoms often don't appear until it has progressed to a dangerous stage. In fact, kidneys can keep working when only 15 percent of normal function remains, and there will be few symptoms that anything serious is wrong.

The Most Common Causes of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is more likely to take place in the following situations.

Diabetes In diabetes cases, the human body doesn't use glucose, or sugar, the way it should. When this happens, glucose begins to act like a toxin, causing the kidneys to work harder. As they strain, the natural filters in the kidneys become more porous. This allows toxins and wastes to stay in the body, creating a cycle of damage that may result in kidney failure. Anyone who has kidney failure must either have dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Plainly, kidney disease can be a very dangerous problem for anyone who has diabetes.

High blood pressure, which is also called as hypertension. High blood pressure puts excess force on cells and tissues as blood comes through. This lowers function and efficiency by the kidneys as a whole.

Family History When it comes to having kidney problems, genes seem to matter. If a lot of people in your family have had kidney trouble, you are probably at higher risk of having it too.

Foods You Eat What you eat can make a big difference in kidney health. If your daily diet includes an abundance of meat and protein, your chance of having kidney disease is above average.

SaltThe amount of sodium (salt) in your diet also matters. While it's true that you need salt, eating too much of it is dangerous for your kidneys. And remember, salt not only comes from the salt shaker at the family dinner table, but also exists in copious amounts in processed dinner mixes, potato chips, salted nut snacks, cold cuts, many kinds of cheese, canned and instant or dehydrated soups, canned vegetables and bacon.

Anyone who is seriously concerned about kidney health and avoiding kidney disease will want to keep the foods listed above to a minimum.

For more information on topics related to this article, click on Kidney Disease.

George McKenzie is a retired TV anchor, medical reporter and radio talk show host. He is a frequent contributor to Kidney Problems, a resource site about kidney health and wellness.