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Chronic Kidney Disease

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Cause

The cause of chronic kidney disease isn't always known. But any condition or disease that damages blood vessels or other structures in the kidneys can lead to kidney disease. The most common causes of chronic kidney disease are:

  • Diabetes. It causes about 35% of all chronic kidney disease. High blood sugar levels caused by diabetes damage blood vessels in the kidneys. If the blood sugar level remains high, this damage gradually reduces the function of the kidneys.
  • High blood pressure (hypertension). It causes another 30% of all kidney disease. Because blood pressure often rises with chronic kidney disease, high blood pressure may further damage kidney function even when another medical condition initially caused the disease.

Other conditions that can damage the kidneys and cause chronic kidney disease include:

Recommended Related to

Understanding Kidney Disease -- Symptoms

Early detection is the first step in treating chronic kidney disease. The symptoms of kidney disease may include: Nausea and vomiting Passing only small amounts of urine Swelling, particularly of the ankles, and puffiness around the eyes Unpleasant taste in the mouth and urine-like odor to the breath Persistent fatigue or shortness of breath Loss of appetite Increasingly higher blood pressure Muscle cramps, especially in the legs Pale skin Excessively dry, itchy s...

Read the Understanding Kidney Disease -- Symptoms article > >

Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease that leads to kidney failure. Diabetes or high blood pressure may also speed up the progression of chronic kidney disease in someone who already has the disease.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: September 15, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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