Chronic kidney disease can come from a number of different health conditions, habits, and genetic factors, but the two most common are diabetes and hypertension.
These two conditions are well noted as primary chronic kidney disease causes, as they impact your kidneys’ health in especially detrimental ways.
Now, having one or both of these conditions doesn’t automatically lead to the development of chronic kidney disease. Yet, once you know more about how diabetes and hypertension can badly affect kidney health, the better equipped you’ll be to minimize your risk. You’ll want to do everything you can to control these illnesses, which damage the kidneys.
Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease Causes
Chronic kidney disease occurs when your kidneys are no longer capable of filtering out toxins and other waste products from your blood with the same efficiency they used to have. This means that any condition that either increases the need for filtration or interferes with regular kidney function can become a big problem.
Diabetes and hypertension are such common chronic kidney disease causes because they have a direct negative impact on your kidneys. When they occur together, your risk of kidney damage is much higher than if you had either disease on its own. So keeping these conditions under control is very important.
Diabetes and Your Kidneys
Kidney damage caused by diabetes is known as diabetic kidney disease. It’s a very prevalent condition, with nearly one in every three people who have diabetes also developing some extent of kidney damage.
Still, not all people who have diabetes are guaranteed to get kidney disease. The difference typically lies in how well you take care of your body after a diabetes diagnosis. In order to do so, it will help to understand the connection between the two conditions.
Blood Glucose Levels
When you have diabetes, your body isn’t able to produce or use insulin at the same rate as a non-diabetic person.
Insulin is responsible for breaking down sugar in your bloodstream. Without it, your blood sugar levels rise too high, which can have all kinds of negative effects. This includes nerve damage, heart disease, vision problems, and, of course, kidney damage.
How Diabetes Causes Kidney Disease
Having high blood glucose levels for an extended time is known as hyperglycemia. It can damage your blood vessels, which interferes with your body’s ability to transport blood to your organs.
Having a lot of glucose in your blood also reduces the amount of nitric oxide. This is a vasodilator, which means it widens your blood vessels and improves blood flow. Without nitric oxide, blood vessels remain narrow, and this correlates with high blood pressure.
Hyperglycemia may damage blood vessels in or near your kidneys. This means your kidneys aren’t getting the blood flow they need to function properly, and they can no longer efficiently filter waste out of your bloodstream.
Hypertension and Your Kidneys
Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. You’ve probably had your blood pressure taken before, but what exactly do those numbers mean in practical terms?
Your blood pressure is a measure of the force of your blood cells as they push against the blood vessels in your body. When pressure is normal, blood cells pass through your arteries normally. When pressure is too high or too low, it has an adverse effect on the normal supply of blood to your organs.
Both high and low blood pressure can be cause for concern, but high blood pressure is more likely to cause damage to your kidneys. This is because it can have lasting impact on your blood vessels and their effectiveness at transporting blood throughout your body.
How Hypertension Causes Kidney Disease
Like diabetes, hypertension can also damage your blood vessels. When your blood pressure is very high, your heart and circulatory system have to work even harder to keep your blood pumping.
Over time, this increased workload and decreased efficiency causes damage to the blood vessels. The blood vessels simply can’t keep up with the higher blood pressure. They become overworked and sustain damage over time.
The flow of blood to the kidneys is impaired, resulting in chronic kidney disease as well as an increased risk of conditions like heart attacks and stroke.
While diabetes and hypertension are strongly correlated with chronic kidney disease, this doesn’t mean kidney damage is an inevitable outcome.
You can protect your kidneys by managing these conditions efficiently, ensuring they don’t get any worse. This can be accomplished by exercising more frequently, making nutritional decisions that feed your microbiome, and cutting out heavily processed foods from your diet.
This way, you can manage and prevent a potential source of your kidney deterioration.