Are You At Elevated Risk For Kidney Disease? What You Need To Know

There are a number of risk factors to be aware of when it comes to kidney disease and renal failure. Your kidneys are an essential set of organs, filtering out toxins and wastes from your system. Kidneys also help keep your chemical system in check, and losing their function can cause a total system failure in a matter of days.

Learning what may put you at a higher risk for kidney failure and kidney disease, as well as your own personal risk factors, allows you to take control of your kidney health and practice prevention in a proactive manner. 

Conditions That May Affect Kidney Health

Being aware of the many conditions and diseases that may be associated with your kidney health is the first step to better understanding what you can do to prevent this debilitating disease. Giving attention and staying on top of your health, especially if you have any of the following risk factors, can make all the difference in the long-term. Chronic kidney disease can affect almost every part of your body, causing complications that would not otherwise be present.


Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are the highest known elevated risk factor for eventually developing kidney disease. High blood sugar from diabetes can damage the filters and blood vessels in the kidneys, especially when your blood sugar levels remain high over a long period of time. Many people with diabetes also suffer from comorbidities, which means that there are two diseases or medical issues present in the body at one time. Many people with diabetes also have high blood pressure, for instance, which is the second highest risk factor for contracting kidney disease.

High Blood Pressure

Almost half of all adults in the United States have been diagnosed with high blood pressure and struggle to keep their numbers at a reasonable level. High blood pressure can also lead to comorbidities and complications that result in kidney disease. Blood pressure is the force of the blood flowing through your veins, and if that pressure is too high, it can cause a number of complications. These include heart issues, aneurysms, complications with memory and dementia, and kidney problems, among many others.

Other diseases and lifestyle factors can affect your kidney health, as well. Obesity, smoking, and being of a certain ethnicity can make it more likely that your body will be affected by kidney disease. A family history of kidney disease is also a good reason to get your kidneys checked out. That way, you can help prevent complications before they start.

The Complications of Kidney Disease

Many complications associated with decreased kidney function can reduce your quality of life and lead to more long-term issues, further compounding the original disease. Fluid retention is a major complication, and it can actually lead to high blood pressure. This, of course, can cause kidney problems, resulting in a vicious cycle of poor health. Anemia, heart disease, weak bones, and damage to your central nervous system can all be factors of kidney disease, as well.

How Can Kidney Disease Be Prevented?

Paying attention to your lifestyle and your overall health can lead to healthier, better-functioning kidneys. Things like losing weight if you are overweight, quitting smoking, and keeping your blood pressure within a healthy range can all contribute to assuring that your kidneys remain healthy throughout your life. If kidney disease runs in your family, having regular testing to ensure that you are not at risk is key.

More and more discoveries are being made in the field of prevention and reduction of kidney disease and its associated complications. Medical companies are becoming involved in research and prevention strategies, with companies like committing their work to uncovering more about this potentially lethal disorder. Treatments that were previously relied on are being phased out as trials are completed and advancements are made in the field of medicine.

Whether you are at an elevated risk of kidney disease or not, taking care of your kidneys is no doubt an important part of an overall healthy lifestyle. And knowing your family history – as well as keeping up with any necessary doctor’s appointments – is necessary for allowing your body to carry you through a long and healthy life.