Kidney Disease: Symptoms, Causes, & Prevention

Kidney Disease

Understand how to prevent kidney disease.

Kidneys are vital organs located in the lower back area of the body. They play an essential role in maintaining proper blood pressure levels and regulating fluid balance in the body.

Kidney disease is a condition where the kidneys fail to function correctly. It can cause serious health problems if left untreated.

This article will discuss the symptoms, causes, treatment, and prevention of kidney disease.

What are the symptoms of kidney disease?

The most common symptom of kidney disease is swelling or enlargement of your ankles, feet, legs, hands, arms, face, neck, stomach, chest, fingers, toes, lips, tongue, eyes, ears, nose, throat, lungs, heart, liver, spleen, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines, bladder, prostate gland, testicles, penis, vagina, uterus, ovaries, breasts, bones, joints, muscles, skin, nails, scalp, hair, teeth, gums, mouth, sinuses, lymph nodes, thyroid glands, parathyroid glands, adrenal glands, pituitary gland, pineal gland, spinal cord, brain, meninges, and other parts of the body. This swelling may be caused by an accumulation of fluids in these areas due to poor functioning of the kidneys.

Other signs include fatigue, weakness, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, fever, chills, headache, dizziness, confusion, irritability, depression, anxiety, shortness of breath, dry cough, difficulty breathing, coughing up blood, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, numbness/tingling around the mouth, jaw, cheeks, chin, fingertips, toes, knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, wrists, upper arms, thighs, calves, heels, and ankles. These symptoms indicate that you have developed chronic kidney failure.

Causes of Kidney Diseases?

The main reason for developing CKD is improper diet. Other causes include diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol level, obesity, hypertension, smoking, alcohol consumption, certain medications such as NSAIDs, steroids, chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy, and infections like HIV/AIDS.

Diabetes Mellitus

People with type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin at all. People who have type 2 diabetes cannot use their insulin effectively. Both types of diabetes lead to damage of the small blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to various tissues throughout the body. As a result, people suffering from either form of diabetes develop complications, including diabetic nephropathy.

High Cholesterol Level

Chronic inflammation of arteries leads to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaques build up on artery walls causing them to narrow.


Obesity increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. In addition, it also contributes to the development of many conditions associated with aging, including osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.


Hypertension occurs when too much force is exerted against the arterial wall, resulting in narrowing of the lumen—the increased resistance to ow through narrowed vessels results in higher systolic and diastolic pressures. High blood pressure damages the endothelial cells lining blood vessels’ inner surface, leading to thickening of the intima layer. Thickened intima prevents smooth muscle cell migration into the media layer, thus preventing standard repair mechanisms. Over time, this process leads to fibrosis and scarring of the vascular system.


Smoking has been linked to several forms of cancers, including lung cancer, oral cavity cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, urinary tract cancer, cervical cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, rectum cancer, pharynx cancer, laryngeal cancer, and acute myeloid leukemia.

Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol abuse is one of the significant factors contributing to CKD. Excessive drinking leads to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, acidosis, malnutrition, impaired immune response, cirrhosis, fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, and end-stage renal disease.


Certain medications can cause or worsen kidney problems. Examples include aminoglycosides, amphotericin B, cisplatin, cyclosporine A, furosemide, gemcitabine, imipramine, interferon-alphalevothyroxine sodium, lithium carbonate, methotrexate, nalidixic acid, nitrofurantoin, oxcarbazepine, phenytoin, piperacillin/tazobactam, quetiapine, tacrolimus, valganciclovir, voriconazole.

Infectious Diseases

Renal involvement in infectious diseases includes glomerular lesions, interstitial nephritis, perinephric abscess formation, septic emboli, and systemic vasculitis.


HIV infection causes a chronic systemic inflammatory state that ultimately leads to an accelerated decline in the glomerular filtration rate. This condition is called AIDS-related complex and later progresses to full-blown acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.


Tuberculosis affects kidneys by damaging their tubules. It does so by releasing toxins that destroy the epithelium of the proximal convoluted tubule. Kidneys become unable to filter waste products out of the bloodstream because damaged epithelium blocks pore between adjacent segments of tubules. Eventually, these blockages prevent urine production ultimately.


The malarial parasite attacks red blood cells destroying them. Malarial parasites enter the circulation via bite wounds. They then travel to other organs, where they multiply before being released back into the bloodstream. When malarial parasites invade the kidneys, they release toxic substances that kill surrounding tissue. These substances accumulate in the kidneys and cause swelling and bleeding. If left untreated, malaria will progress to a severe stage characterized by jaundice, coma, seizures, and death.

Leptospira Infection

Leptospiral bacteria infects kidneys directly. Leptospires attach themselves to the outer membrane of distal convolution tubule cells. Once connected, leptospires secrete enzymes that break down proteins within the cytoplasm of infected cells.

Other infections include Chlamydia pneumoniae, Cysticercus cellulose, Histoplasma capsulatum, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Salmonella typhi, Shigella dysenteriae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Trypanosoma cruzi, Vibrio cholera, Yersinia pestis, etc., have also been associated with nephritis.

Diabetes mellitus

Type 1 DM is an autoimmune disorder caused due to destruction of insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. Type 2 DM develops when the body fails to produce enough insulin despite having an adequate amount. Insulin deficiency leads to hyperglycemia which further damages tissues and increases chances for complications like retinal damage, heart attack, stroke, amputation, blindness, nerve damage, gangrene, diabetic ketoacidosis, and even death.

Chronic inflammation

Inflammatory diseases affect kidneys indirectly. Inflammatory conditions lead to the accumulation of fluid in various parts of the body, causing edema. Edematous fluids collect around small arteries and capillaries, blocking their passage. As a result, blood cannot reach those areas effectively.

Blood supply becomes inadequate, and oxygen levels drop significantly. Insufficient blood supply triggers apoptotic processes that remove healthy cells from the affected area. Healthy cells die off, leaving behind only unhealthy ones. Unhealthy cells continue to grow and form scars. Scarred tissue replaces healthy tissue over time.

ARF can be acute or chronic, depending on how long it lasts. Acute renal failure occurs when there is a rapid loss of large amounts of water-soluble wastes or electrolytes from the body. , Acute renal failure usually results from obstruction of the urinary tract, infection, trauma, shock, dehydration, drugs, poisoning, or specific medical procedures. Chronic renal failure happens gradually over months or years without obvious signs until patients develop end-stage renal disease. ESRD requires dialysis treatment or transplantation.

Obstructive uropathy

Obstruction of the urinary tract causes hydronephrosis. Hydronephrotic kidneys fail to drain excess fluid efficiently. This condition may occur spontaneously or after surgery. Lucky blocks include stones, tumors, strictures, adhesions, congenital abnormalities, and inflammatory disorders.

Surgery-related obstructions include postoperative scarring, radiation injury, and iatrogenic injuries.

How to prevent yourself from getting kidney Disease?

There are many ways you can prevent kidney disease. It would be best to avoid exposure to toxins, chemicals, heavy metals, and other substances known to cause harm to your kidneys. Avoiding these things will help protect your kidneys against developing problems later in life. If you smoke cigarettes, quit immediately. Smoking has been linked to several types of cancer, including lung cancer, mouth cancers, throat cancers, bladder cancers, esophageal cancers, stomach cancers, liver cancers, pancreatic cancers, cervical cancers, colon cancers, breast cancers, prostate cancers, brain cancers, leukemia ,lymphomas, multiple myelomas, skin cancers, and eye cancers. It’s not just smoking tobacco products; secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemical compounds. The harmful effects of inhaling cigarette smoke are well documented. Secondhand smoke is responsible for about 3 million deaths worldwide each year. Also, Avoid alcohol consumption if possible.

It would be best if you ate plenty of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods contain antioxidants that fight free radicals and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, some forms of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, macular degeneration, and age-related vision impairment. Fruits and veggies provide fiber, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and dietary fiber . Fiber helps keep bowels regular and prevents constipation. Phytonutrients found in fruit and vegetable juices increase antioxidant capacity by up to 20 times compared to whole food sou U.S.

You should drink at least eight glasses of fluids a day. Water is best because it doesn’t add calories.

Other good choices include milk, juice, tea, coffee, soda, sports drinks, broth, soup, tomato sauce, soups, broths, and herbal teas. Fluids also ush out waste material from the digestive system.

Drinking enough water keeps blood pressure regular and reduces risks of heart attack, stroke, high cholesterol levels, type 2 diabetes, gallbladder diseases, gout, arthritis, and bone fractures.

If you have an active lifestyle, exercise regularly. Exercise improves overall health and increases energy levels. Regular physical activity boosts immune function, strengthens muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, joints, and connective tissue, and promotes weight control. In addition, people who engage in moderate aerobic activities such as walking briskly, jogging, swimming laps, bicycling, dancing, playing tennis, golf, gardening, yard work, and housework burn extra calories and improve their fitness. People with poor muscle tone benefit most from strength training exercises like pushups, sit-ups, squats, leg lifts, crunches, pullovers, chin-ups, dips, bicep curls, triceps extensions, calf raises, toe touches, and jumping rope. Weight lifting equipment makes exercising more accessible and safer.

The kidney is the leading and most crucial part of our body its necessary to take care of it, so start from today and stay away from chronic kidney disease!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here