Know about the Actual Causes of Kidney Damage

By Dr. Waheed Zaman in Urology , Kidney Transplant

Oct 04 , 2017 | 2 min read

Kidney failure, also known as end-stage renal disease (ESRD), is the last stage of chronic kidney disease. A kidney failure means that your kidneys have stopped working making it difficult for you to survive without a kidney transplant or dialysis. When a chronic kidney disease reaches a severe stage, fluids, dangerous wastes and electrolytes can accumulate in the body.

The treatment of chronic kidney disease is all about controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to kidney failure, which is fatal without a kidney transplant or artificial filtering. The actual causes of kidney damage include:


It is the most common cause of kidney failure. With diabetes, the small blood vessels in the body get damaged. Since the primary function of the kidney is to clean the body, when the blood vessels are injured, the kidneys cannot clean your blood. The body then retains more water and salt than it is supposed to, which results in weight gain and ankle swelling. This further leads to the building up of protein in the urine and formation of waste materials in the blood. Furthermore, diabetes can also cause damage to the nerves in the body. This might lead to difficulty in emptying the bladder. The pressure resulting from the full bladder can back up and harm the kidneys. Moreover, if urine remains in the bladder for a long time, it can lead to the formation of bacteria, causing infections.

High Blood Pressure

The kidneys and circulatory system are dependent on each other for good health. When the blood vessels become injured, the nephrons that filter your blood don’t receive oxygen and nutrients. This is precisely the reason why the rise in the blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can make the arteries around the kidneys become narrow, weak or harden it. These damaged arteries can’t deliver enough blood to the kidney tissue.

Polycystic kidney disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a genetic kidney disorder and one of the causes of kidney failure. In this disorder, fluid-filled cysts form in the kidneys, disrupting the kidney function and eventually causing kidney failure. People with this disorder may also develop complications like the formation of cysts in the liver. Other than being inherited, PKD less commonly develops in people who have other serious kidney problems.

Interstitial Nephritis

It’s a severe kidney disorder wherein the places between the kidney tubules become inflamed, causing difficulties with the functioning of the kidneys. Interstitial nephritis may be acute, or it may be chronic and can also get worse over time. The essential functions of kidneys are to filter your blood and to get rid of waste from your body. The kidney tubules reabsorb water as well as vital organic matters from your kidney filtrate and secrete things in the urine which should not be present in the excretion.

Learning that you have a chronic kidney disease can be incredibly shocking, even if you have known it for a long time that your kidneys were not working well. Having to change your lifestyle to make time for your treatments can make coping with this new reality very challenging. You may have to change your routine, stop working or even find new ways to exercise. You may feel sad or nervous. However, you can still get help from experts to feel better and have a fulfilling life.