Diseases That Increases the Risk of Kidney Failure

Diseases That Increases the Risk of Kidney Failure

Most of us are unaware of the fact that kidney failure is more often linked to secondary systemic diseases such as blood pressure and diabetes. When kidneys don’t work well for more than 3 months, it is considered as chronic kidney disease by doctors.

One may not have any symptoms in the early stages, but then it becomes easy to treat. But on the other hand native kidney diseases may act as a culprit and cause kidney failure or putting one at a risk of end-stage renal disease. So what are those diseases that are the most common culprits increasing the risk of chronic kidney failure? There are four main causes of kidney failure; diabetes, hypertension, glomerulonephritis and cystic kidney disease. Let’s break these down.

1. Diabetic Kidney disease

Considered as the most common cause of kidney failure, diabetic neuropathy or diabetic kidney disease advances a patient to stage 5 of chronic kidney ailment and put them to dialysis. Since past two decades, patients with diabetes have become more prone to end-stage renal disease. 

According to Dr. Atul Ingle, consultant nephrologist, last 15 years of study says that 30 percent of diabetic patient develop kidney failure and this is enough to raise eyebrows.

Doctors say coping with this would be challenging given the exponential rise in a diabetic patient in the country and unable to afford the treatment.

2. Hypertension

Another potential risk factor of chronic kidney failure is hypertension. In India, today diabetes and hypertension account for 40-60 percent of total chronic kidney diseases. According to Indian Council of Medical Research, the prevalence of hypertension in the adult population is 17 percent and is a disturbing trend.

Hypertension causes damage to blood vessels and filters present in the kidney. One with hypertension may or may not realize he has kidney disease until he sees some major signs such as decrease in amount of urine, difficulty urinating, etc. or goes through certain laboratory tests.

3. Glomerulonephritis

It refers to the inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys. Glomeruli, the filters in the kidneys remove excess of fluid, electrolytes and wastes and when it gets inflamed (glomerulonephritis), it could gradually turn into chronic and damage the kidneys. 

It can occur from various factors but broadly, it happens due to auto-immune diseases, use of drugs, cancer or some infections. Blood in the urine is a common sign of glomerulonephritis.  

4. Cystic Kidneys

Also referred to as Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) is a genetic condition that runs in families. It is due to genetic mutation that rarely occurs on its own. In this condition, a cluster of cysts (A closed sac that develops abnormally) develops within the kidneys and enlarges them to loose functioning. 

These cysts are non-cancerous and vary in size. Large cysts or having many cysts can damage the kidneys by choking the blood supply.

Treatment of Kidney Failure

The treatment would depend upon the diagnosis and in which stage the person is currently in. Blood and urine tests would determine the level of damage while ultrasound and abdomen biopsy could be suggested to dig deep in the matter. Depending on the condition, by medication or surgery, total kidney failure can be prevented, if not, then transplantation is the last resort.


1. Mayo Clinic Staff.(2017, August 04).Chronic kidney disease read more 
2. Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease(2016,October) read more
3. Chronic Kidney Disease(n.d.)
read more