Patient Education

Why do kidneys fail?

KidneyThere are many causes of Kidney Failure:
Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons, causing them to lose their filtering capacity. Damage to the nephrons may happen quickly, often as the result of injury or poisoning. But most kidney diseases destroy the nephrons slowly and silently. Only after years or even decades will the damage become apparent. Most kidney diseases attack both kidneys simultaneously.

Some of the most common causes of kidney disease are:

Diabetes (Diabetic Nephropathy) - Diabetes is a disease that restrains the cells in your body from using glucose (sugar) as it should. Long-lasting high glucose levels in the blood induce damages to the nephrons and result in the development of diabetic nephropathy.
High Blood Pressure - High blood pressure can damage the small blood vessels in your nephrons. The damaged vessels cannot filter wastes from your blood as they are supposed to.
Glomerulonephritis - Several different types of kidney disease are grouped together under this category that causes inflammation and damage to the kidneys' filtering units. Protein, blood or both in the urine are often the first signs of these diseases. They can slowly destroy kidney function.
Inherited and Congenital Kidney Diseases (birth defect) - Such as Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), which causes large cysts to form in the kidneys and damage the surrounding tissue.
Malformations - That occur as a baby develops in its mother's womb. For example, a narrowing of tubular structures carrying the urine may occur that prevents normal outflow of urine and causes urine to flow back up to the kidney. This causes infections and may damage the kidneys.
Obstructions caused by problems like kidney stones, tumors or an enlarged prostate gland in men.
Other Causes of Kidney Disease - Repeated urinary infections, poisons and trauma.