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What Causes Kidney Failure

There are many causes of kidney failure though the good news is a lot of it is preventable. There are many things that you can do in your own lifestyle that can help prevent kidney disease and the result of that, kidney failure. Kidney failure can occur when:

  • You have a condition that slows blood flow to your kidneys
  • You experience direct damage to your kidneys
  • Your kidneys’ urine drainage tubes (ureters) become blocked and wastes can’t leave your body through your urine

Impaired Blood Flow

There are a few conditions and diseases that can slow blood flow to your kidneys. Any of these conditions can cause kidney failure:

  • Blood or fluid loss
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Heart attack
  • Heart disease
  • Infection
  • Liver failure
  • Use of aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen (Aleve, others), or related drugs
  • Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
  • Severe burns
  • Severe dehydration

Too Much Damage To The Kidneys

Certain conditions and diseases can cause major damage to your kidneys and possibly lead to kidney failure:

  • Blood clots in the veins and arteries in and around the kidneys
  • Cholesterol deposits that block blood flow in the kidneys
  • Glomerulonephritis (gloe-mer-u-loe-nuh-FRY-tis), inflammation of the tiny filters in the kidneys (glomeruli)
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome, a condition that results from premature destruction of red blood cells
  • Infection
  • Lupus, an immune system disorder causing glomerulonephritis
  • Medications, such as certain chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, dyes used during imaging tests and zoledronic acid (Reclast, Zometa), used to treat osteoporosis and high blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia)
  • Multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells
  • Scleroderma, a group of rare diseases affecting the skin and connective tissues
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), a rare blood disorder
  • Toxins, such as alcohol, heavy metals and cocaine
  • Vasculitis, an inflammation of blood vessels

Blockage in the Kidneys

There are certain conditions that can block urine from passing through the kidneys. This blockage can lead to kidney failure:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Blood clots in the urinary tract
  • Cervical cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Kidney stones
  • Nerve damage involving the nerves that control the bladder
  • Prostate cancer

Risk Factors That Could Increase Your Chances of Kidney Failure

More often than not kidney failure almost always occurs when it is linked with another medical condition. There are many conditions that increase the chances of kidney failure:

  • Being hospitalized, especially for a serious condition that requires intensive care
  • Advanced age
  • Blockages in the blood vessels in your arms or legs (peripheral artery disease)
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney diseases
  • Liver diseases

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