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?
- Lack of blood flow to the kidneys
- Direct damage to the kidneys themselves
- Blockage of urine from the kidneys
- 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
What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?
- 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