A medical doctor posted on Twitter a concerning trend he noticed about kidney diseases. Lately, they have been admitting a lot of patients with kidney diseases who are still very young, mostly below the age of 40.
A large percentage of this phenomenon from his analysis had everything to do with lifestyle and untreated illnesses that end up damaging internal organs.
The function of the Kidneys
Kidneys have several jobs, but the major one involves helping the body to eliminate toxins. The kidneys filter the blood with the sole aim of removing the wastes from the system. This waste is later sent out of the body through urine.
When one develops kidney disease, the kidneys cannot filter and eliminate wastes from the body. This result in toxins building up in one’s body, leading to one becoming sick.
There are different causes of kidney diseases among young people. Below are some reasons that may have caused young people to develop kidney illnesses
1. Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
Diabetes is the number one cause of kidney problems. Statistics show that 1 in 3 adults with kidney disease developed it because of the serious side effects of diabetes.
Diabetes is a chronic health condition that alters the way one’s body turns food into energy. A person’s body converts the food one has eaten into sugar. The body then releases this sugar into the bloodstream. If blood sugar goes up, the body alerts the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts as a key to letting the blood sugar into your body’s cells for use as energy.
Diabetes impairs the ability of the body to either produce or utilize insulin appropriately. This leads to too much sugar levels in the body which in the long run cause other complications.
When the sugar levels are not controlled, one develops kidney problems in return. Diabetes causes kidney problems by damaging the blood vessels and cells in the kidney that carry out the blood-filtering process. How To Live With Diabetes
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2. High Blood Pressure
Blood pressure refers to the force with which blood pushes blood around your body. When the pressure is too high, it means that the blood pressure against your blood vessel walls is consistently high.
Kidneys and the circulatory system depend on each other for daily functioning and good health. As the kidneys help the body filter wastes and extra fluids from the blood, it uses a lot of blood vessels in the process. With high blood pressure, the vessels in the kidney that help in the elimination of wastes may get damaged.
When the blood vessels become damaged, the parts that filter blood may fail to get enough oxygen and nutrients they need to function well. In turn, this means that your kidney will not function well.
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3. Long-term use of painkillers
Most people use painkillers to relieve pain regularly because they are readily available. Others use them as prescribed by their doctors. Whichever the case, long-term use of these medicines harms one’s kidneys.
Extended periods of using these painkillers cause toxicity in the kidneys, which may in turn damage the kidney parts that eliminate body toxins. It is important to be careful when using painkillers.
4. Hepatitis B and C and HIV
Research shows that viral diseases have a link to kidney diseases. Several patients with kidney problems were found to have common viral diseases such as hepatitis and HIV.
As local irritants, viruses predispose kidneys to bacterial invasion. Also, a bacterial infection elsewhere in the body can activate viruses present in the kidneys. This may lead to glomerulonephritis (which is inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys (glomeruli). or pyelonephritis which is a kidney infection.
5. Excessive use of alcohol
Excessive intake of alcohol contributes to the process of kidney damage. The main function of the kidney is to eliminate toxins from the body. Alcohol, on the other hand, has toxins and each time an individual takes it, the kidney has to get into the process of filtering blood and removing these toxins.
The kidneys of people who take a high amount of alcohol daily have to go an extra mile for the toxin elimination process more than how the kidney of someone with little to no alcohol content would. This work eventually wears out the kidneys and after some time, leads to kidney diseases.
6. Smoking cigarettes
Smoking cigarettes have several damaging effects on the kidneys. This is especially to heavy smokers.
Cigarette smoking increases the risks of an individual getting some types of kidney cancer.
Smoking cigarettes also contribute to cardiovascular system damage. Where, when blood vessels in the kidney get damaged, the kidney may not be able to carry out its functions effectively.
In the case of a kidney disease patient then smoking cigarettes causes more strain on the kidneys.
7. Heart Failure may cause kidney diseases
Heart failure impairs the functioning of the whole cardiovascular system, which in turn affects the functioning of the kidney. When a heart fails, it loses its ability to pump blood efficiently. So that even the vessels in the kidneys may not get enough oxygen and nutrients to function well.
The kidneys need enough oxygen and nutrient to remove toxins from the body. When the kidneys fail to get this oxygen and nutrients for a considerable amount of time, then it may be the beginning of kidney disease.
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Lifestyles for a healthy kidney
As could be seen from the common causes of kidney disease among people below 40, lifestyle conditions contributed a lot.
This means that healthy living may go a long way in preventing one from developing kidney disease.
Here are some tips to help prevent kidney disease from developing.
- Avoid excess intake of alcohol
- Avoid smoking cigarettes
- Only take painkillers as per the prescription
- Eat a well-balanced diet and monitor your weight.
- Get active by doing as many physical activities as possible.
- Monitor your blood pressure.
- Control your blood sugar
- Drink enough fluids.
- Have your kidneys checked if you are at high risk for kidney disease.
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