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Thursday, 18 June 2015
Most kidney diseases attack the nephrons. This damage may leave kidneys unable to remove wastes. Causes can include genetic problems, injuries, or medicines. You are at greater risk for kidney disease if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a close family member with kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease damages the nephrons slowly over several years. Other kidney problems include:
what Causes Acute Kidney Injury?
The sudden loss of kidney function is called acute kidney injury, also known as acute renal failure (ARF). ARF has three main causes:
- Lack of blood flow to the kidneys
- Direct damage to the kidneys themselves
- Blockage of urine from the kidneys
Common causes include:
- A traumatic injury with blood loss
- Damage to the kidneys from shock during a severe infection called sepsis
- Obstruction of urine flow, such as with an enlarged prostate
- Damage from certain drugs or toxins
- Pregnancy complications, such as eclampsia and pre-eclampsia, or related HELLP Syndrome
Marathon runners and other athletes who don't drink enough fluids while competing in long-distance endurance events may suffer acute renal failure due to a sudden breakdown of muscle tissue. This muscle breakdown releases a large amount of protein into the bloodstream called myoglobin that can damage the kidneys.
What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?
Kidney damage and decreased function that lasts longer than 3 months is called chronic kidney disease (CKD). Chronic kidney disease is particularly dangerous, because you may not have any symptoms until considerable, often irreparable, kidney damage has occurred. Diabetes (types 1 and 2) and high blood pressure are the most common causes of CKD. Other causes are:
- Immune system conditions such as lupus and chronic viral illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C
- Urinary tract infections within the kidneys themselves, called pyelonephritis, can lead to scarring as the infection heals. Multiple episodes can lead to kidney damage.
- Inflammation in the tiny filters (glomeruli) within the kidneys; this can happen after strep infection and other conditions of unknown cause.
- Polycystic kidney disease, in which fluid-filled cysts form in the kidneys over time. This is the most common form of inherited kidney disease.
- Congenital defects, present at birth, are often the result of a urinary tract obstruction or malformation that affects the kidneys; one of the most common involves a valve-like mechanism between the bladder and urethra. These defects, sometimes found while a baby is still in the womb, can often be surgically repaired by an urologist.
- Drugs and toxins, including long-term exposure to some medications and chemicals, such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), like ibuprofen and naproxen, and use of intravenous “street” drugs
WebMD Medical Reference
Reviewed by Lisa B. Bernstein, MD on March 18, 2015
© 2015 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
- The Kidneys (Human Anatomy): Picture, Function, Definition, and Conditions
- Can antiperspirants cause kidney disease?
- George Lopez Gets a New Kidney
- Quiz: How Well Do You Know Your Kidneys?
- Chronic Kidney Disease-Health Tools
- Acute Kidney Injury-Frequently Asked Questions
- Acute Kidney Injury-Health Tools