Kidney Damage: Common Habits That Can Cause It


ORLANDO, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — About 37 million people have kidney disease, according to the CDC, and one million of them will die from it this year. Most people don’t experience any symptoms so they don’t know what things can cause it. Depending on your lifestyle, you could be damaging your kidneys without knowing it. Kidney damage

Barry white … Gary Coleman … Bobby Fischer … have what in common? They all passed from kidney disease. It’s a silent disease, so symptoms may never show up … Or not until it’s too late.

Jeanie Park, MD, MS, Associate Prof. of Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine explains, “The symptoms of kidney failure can include, usually, very vague things like some nausea, decreased appetite. Patients may have some fatigue, or changes in memory. In terms of urination, they may notice they are getting up at night more often to urinate.”

If kidney disease is not found or treated in a reasonable time frame, it could result in death. But most people don’t know the common habits that cause the deadly disease. Eating processed food or fast food can have long-lasting effects on your kidneys, so can dying your hair – the dye contains lead acetate and bismuth, taking blood pressure medications or NSAIDs.

“Things that my doctor and I discuss a lot is, what medications I’m taking, and what kind of impact they have, you know, pro and con, on my kidneys.”

Being aware of these common habits could keep your kidneys healthy and you alive much longer.

If the kidney damage goes unchecked for too long, some signs might eventually show up, such as, sleep problems, loss of appetite, swelling of ankles and feet, and dry, itchy skin.

Contributors to this news report include: Adahlia Thomas, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.



REPORT #3132

BACKGROUND: Kidney damage, also known as nephropathy, refers to a condition where the kidneys, which are important organs responsible for filtering waste products and excess substances from the blood, are unable to perform their functions effectively. This can happen for several reasons including, excessive exposure to certain medications, infections, autoimmune disorders, high blood pressure, diabetes, or genetics. The damage may show itself in the form of vomiting, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, itchy skin, swelling in feet and ankles, trouble sleeping, or shortness of breath. In severe cases, it can progress to chronic kidney disease, which may require dialysis or kidney transplantation for survival.


DIAGNOSIS: Diagnosing kidney damage typically involves a series of laboratory tests and imaging studies. Blood tests play a crucial role in testing kidney function by measuring levels of creatinine, a waste product produced by muscle metabolism, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN), an indicator of protein breakdown. Additionally, urine tests, such as urinalysis provide valuable information about the kidneys’ ability to concentrate and filter urine. Imaging techniques like ultrasound, CT scans, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to visualize the structure and identify abnormalities in the kidneys. In some cases, kidney biopsies, involving the removal of a small tissue sample for microscopic examination, may be performed to expose the underlying cause of the damage.


NEW REGULATIONS: The recent FDA approval of Jardiance (empagliflozin) as a treatment for adults with chronic kidney disease marks a significant advancement in the research supporting kidney damage management. With a proven 39% reduction in the risk of kidney failure and a 31% drop in cardiovascular death rates, Jardiance’s approval paves a way for targeted and powerful treatment for chronic kidney disease. The EMPA-KIDNEY trial showed significant findings regarding Jardiance (empagliflozin) in the treatment of chronic kidney disease. The study showed a 28% relative risk reduction (3.6% absolute risk reduction per patient-year) for the composite primary endpoint of kidney disease progression or cardiovascular death compared to a placebo, both in addition to standard care. Jardiance stands out as the first SGLT2 inhibitor CKD trial to exhibit a 14% relative risk reduction in the risk of first and recurrent hospitalizations. The Jardiance group experienced 24.8 hospitalization events per 100 patient years, while the placebo group had 29.2 events per 100 patient years.


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Jeanie Park, MD, MS

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