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Primary Factors Responsible for Kidney Disease and Failure

In recent times, End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) known as kidney failure has turned out to be a universal health concern. As this organ fails to function completely, initially ‘dialysis’ and subsequently ‘kidney transplant’ is the only option left for the patient. Therefore an early prevention and treatment is helpful for patients who are at risk to develop kidney diseases due to hereditary or other lifestyle reasons.  Most often it becomes difficult to differentiate particular grounds for kidney disease or failure but some of the primary reasons are mentioned here which may affect kidneys and make them sick.

Ageing is crucial but familiar reason that can affect kidney’s ability to perform perfectly. Once a person crosses 40 years of age, nephrons start declining by one percent each year however kidneys continue to work normally because nephrons have a quality of increasing on their own when they start declining.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

We all know that unhealthy lifestyle can add on to unnecessary weight and thus causing many other health problems which aggravate renal (kidney) failure. Here are most common unhealthy practices which can make a person prone to severe kidney disease.

Excess Intake of Salt, Sugar and Processed Food

Processed food and diet rich of salt, sodium and phosphorus are unsafe for kidney and leaves an adverse effect on normal kidney function.  Similarly consuming more sugar in any form can add on extra weight (obesity) leads to other health issues which directly affect kidney’s health like high blood pressure and diabetes.

Water Deficiency in the Body

For an adult person drinking approximately 2 liters of plain water is recommended. Most of us do not take this seriously and substitute it with other aerated drinks or hot beverages like tea /coffee which is full of nicotine and caffeine. Our body and most significantly our kidneys require sufficient water to flush out sodium and toxins. Many kidney disease and problems as kidney stones can be avoided by simply taking enough water on daily basis

Excess Intake of Meat

Animal protein generates high amounts of acid in the blood that can be harmful to the kidneys and cause acidosis – a condition in which kidneys cannot eliminate acid fast enough.

Substance Abuse (Drugs, Alcohol & Smoking)

Taking illegal drugs, consuming too much alcohol and regular cigar/cigarette smoking are some of the trigger points for kidney malfunctioning. Nicotine present in cigarette makes it addictive and when inhaled through smoking; it doubles the risk of chronic kidney disease.

Overuse of Medicine and Toxins

Regular use of painkillers to get relief from everyday’s physical tiredness and mental stress can prove to be hazardous to kidney health. Similarly food and beverages which are high in toxins can over burden kidney to flush out waste from body resulting weak performance over the time. Therefore, it is suggested to avoid overdose of drugstore medicines without doctor’s prescription and unless it is absolutely essential.

Pyelonephritis (Kidney Infection)

When a person is sick due to illness caused by bacteria, germs or virus attack, it is referred as infection. These microorganisms are the ones that usually do not exist within the body. Infection can be less severe like cold and cough, internal or external swelling but can also turn fatal in some particular conditions. Significant symptoms of the infection may or may not be visible.

Kidney (renal) infection is also referred as ‘Pyelonephritis’ which is swelling of the kidney due to bacterial infection. Pyelonephritis is a general category of Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) wherein bacteria infect the bladder or the urethra and reach out to kidneys. This is found more in women than men.

Fever, nausea, frequent and troubled urination are some of the common symptoms while pus, sepsis and  failure of kidney functions can be severe impact of this type of infection.

Acute Pyelonephritis: It is life-threatening severe form of kidney infection, which makes the organ inflamed and leads to permanent damage.

Chronic Pyelonephritis: Chronic Pyelonephritis is normally found in children. This is rare type and infection occurrence is regular as the root cause of chronic pyelonephritis is urinary obstruction which happens due to UTIs, vesicoureteral reflux, or anatomical anomalies.

Kidney Stones

Minerals and acid salts present in the body bond together in concentrated urine and form hard stacks (deposits) of it. This solid substance is kidney stone also referred as ‘renal calculi’ in medical term.

Kidneys stone can originate anywhere in the urinary tract but most often develop in kidneys. They can be of different sizes and since very small particles flush out of the body through urine, bigger ones obstruct urine flow and cause scarring in the kidney. Evidently, steep pain is felt in the abdomen side and while passing urine.

In normal circumstances medicines and change in diet can help prevent recurrent stone formation. However medical procedure is required to eliminate kidney stone.  

Types of Kidney Stones

Kidney stones can be classified in different categories based on the substance, it is formed. These types include:

Calcium Stones

Kidney stones that are formed of calcium combining with phosphate or oxalate are known as calcium stones. These are very commonly found in people who tend to take oxalate rich food.  

Uric Acid Stone

The main cause of developing Uric Acid Stones in the kidneys is due to the presence of excess acid in the urine. People whose diet is full of animal proteins and seafood which is rich in pruines tend to have acidic urine. This type of kidney stone is more common in men than in women. They can occur in people with gout or those going through chemotherapy.

Struvite Stone

This type of stone is found mostly in women with urinary tract infections (UTIs). These stones can be large and cause urinary obstruction.

Cystine Stone

Amino acid cystine stone formation in the urine is caused because of the hereditary disease called Cystinuria which is a type of aminoaciduria. These stones block the flow of urine, which is called urinary obstruction and affect kidneys adversely.



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