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7 Avoidable Causes of Kidney Disease

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Written by Faith Vincent

The rate at which young people are suffering from Kidney disease is alarming. About 30 million adults in the U.S. have kidney disease and many don’t know it. Do you know the causes of kidney disease and if you’re at risk? Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys lose the ability to filter waste from your blood sufficiently.
There are several causes of kidney disease, a condition that affects 1 in 7 adults age 18 or older in the United States. Learning about the root causes of kidney disease can help you get the right treatment and potentially preserve remaining kidney function. Read below the 7 most important causes of Kidney Disease.

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7. Delaying going to a toilet keeping your urine in your bladder for too long is a bad idea. A full bladder can cause bladder damage. The urine that stays in the bladder multiplies bacteria quickly. Once the urine refluxes back to the ureter and kidneys, the toxic substances can result in kidney infections, then urinary tract infections, and then nephritis, and even uraemia. When nature calls do it as soon as possible.
When your body can’t eliminate urine, toxins build up and overload the kidneys. Some cancers can block the urine passageways. These include prostate (most common type in men), colon, cervical, and bladder cancers.

 

6. Eating too much salt, you should eat no more than 5.8 grams of salt daily. Eating salt raises the amount of sodium in your bloodstream and wrecks the delicate balance, reducing the ability of your kidneys to remove the water. The result is a higher blood pressure due to the extra fluid and extra strain on the delicate blood vessels leading to the kidneys.
Over time, this extra strain can damage the kidneys – known as kidney disease. This reduces their ability to filter out unwanted and toxic waste products, which then start to build up in the body.

A high salt diet will alter this sodium balance, causing the kidneys to have reduced function and remove less water resulting in higher blood pressure. This puts strain on the kidneys and can lead to kidney disease.
A high salt intake has been shown to increase the amount of protein in the urine which is a major risk factor for the decline of kidney function. There is also increasing evidence that a high salt intake may increase deterioration of kidney disease in people already suffering from kidney problems.

 

5. Eating too much meat. Too much protein in your diet is harmful for your kidneys. Protein digestion produces ammonia – a toxin that is very destructive to your kidneys. More meat equals more kidney damage. The consumption of animal fat can actually alter the structure of the kidney, and animal protein can deliver an acid load to the kidneys, increase ammonia production, and damage the sensitive kidney cells. This is why restricting protein intake is recommended for preventing kidney function decline—though it may be animal protein in particular that may need restricting, not just protein in general. So, the source of the protein, plant versus animal, may be more important than the amount regarding adverse health consequences.

Currently, a reduced protein intake is suggested to patients with CKD to slow the progression to ESRD. However, the role of different protein sources in the development of ESRD has not been investigated previously. Animal protein intake profoundly affects normal human kidney function, inducing what’s called hyper filtration, which increases the workload of the kidney. This may help explain why our kidneys fail so often. “Unlimited intake of protein-rich foods, now generally regarded as ‘normal,’ may be responsible for dramatic differences in renal function between modern human beings and their remote predecessors who hunted and scavenged for meat.”

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4. Drinking too much caffeine .Caffeine is a component of many sodas and soft drinks. It raises your blood pressure and your kidneys start suffering. So you should cut down the amount of
Coke you drink daily. There is some evidence that caffeine can cause momentary increases in the blood pressure (up to 10 mm Hg), especially in people who are not habitual coffee drinkers. However, this effect is enhanced in the elderly, and people who have underlying hypertension. Beyond this short lived spike in blood pressure, there is some data that caffeine could have a long term chronic effect on raising the blood pressure as well.

According to the same study in “Epidemiology,” colas contain phosphoric acid, which contributes to greater kidney stone formation. Although not all sodas contain phosphoric acid, nearly all regular sodas can contribute to greater stone formation and overall kidney dysfunction. According to a 2009 review of the research in the “Journal of the American Society of Nephrology,” this is because of the most prominent sweetener in regular sodas: fructose. Whether on its own, in the form of glucose-fructose, or as high-fructose corn syrup, this sugar can increase kidney stone formation and damage kidney cells.

 

3. Not drinking water. Our kidneys should be hydrated properly to perform their functions well. If we don’t drink enough, the toxins can start accumulating in the blood, as there isn’t enough fluid to drain them through the kidneys. Drink more than 10 glasses of water daily. There is an easy way to check if you are drinking enough water: look at the colour of your urine; the lighter the colour, the better. Water helps dissolve minerals and nutrients, making them more accessible to the body. It also helps remove waste products. These two functions make water vital to the kidneys.
Water also helps keep your blood vessels open so that blood can travel freely to your kidneys, and deliver essential nutrients to them. But if you become dehydrated, then it is more difficult for this delivery system to work.

Mild dehydration can make you feel tired, and can impair normal bodily functions. Severe dehydration can lead to kidney damage, so it is important to drink enough when you work or exercise very hard, and especially in warm and humid weather. Kidney stones and urinary tract infections (UTIs) are two common medical conditions that can hurt the kidneys, and for which good hydration is essential. Kidney stones form less easily when there is sufficient water available to prevent stone-forming crystals from sticking together. Water helps dissolve the antibiotics used to treat urinary tract infections, making them more effective. Drinking enough water also helps produce more urine, which helps to flush out infection-causing bacteria.

 

2. Blood pressure is the force of blood pushing against blood vessel walls as the heart pumps out blood, and high blood pressure, also called hypertension, is an increase in the amount of force that blood places on blood vessels as it moves through the body. High blood pressure can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, reducing their ability to work properly. When the force of blood flow is high, blood vessels stretch so blood flows more easily. Eventually, this stretching scars and weakens blood vessels throughout the body, including those in the kidneys.
If the kidneys’ blood vessels are damaged, they may stop removing wastes and extra fluid from the body. Extra fluid in the blood vessels may then raise blood pressure even more, creating a dangerous cycle. Once a person is diagnosed with end-stage renal disease, dialysis — a blood-cleansing process — or kidney transplantation are necessary.

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1. Sepsis is a severe and deregulated inflammatory response to infection characterized by end-organ dysfunction distant from the primary site of infection. According to the National Kidney Foundation, one of the major causes of acute kidney injury (also called AKI) is sepsis and some studies have found that between 32% and 48% of acute kidney injury cases were caused by sepsis.

In sepsis and septic shock, your blood pressure drops dangerously low, affecting how the blood flows through your body. Because the blood can’t flow as quickly as it should, it can’t deliver the nutrients needed by the body’s tissues and organs. At the same time, the blood begins to clot within the blood vessels (called disseminated intravascular coagulation, or DIC), slowing down blood flow even more. The low blood pressure and DIC both contribute to the kidneys’ failure.

 

 

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Faith Vincent

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