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What is the link between obesity and chronic kidney disease?

Obesity can increase your risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) in an indirect fashion. Individuals who are obese are more likely to develop high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. These health problems are the major risk factors for CKD.

Obesity can even increase your risk for CKD in a more direct manner. Individuals who have a high body mass index (BMI) have metabolic demands that are higher than average. This means that the kidneys must engage in hyperfiltration (excessive filtering activities) to fulfill the body’s needs. When the kidneys are placed under this extra strain, it increases the risk of CKD.

However, just as obesity can increase the risk of CKD, losing weight may help prevent it. If you’re concerned about your weight, you may wish to consider talking to your doctor about a healthy weight loss program. He or she may advise you to follow a balanced diet and to practice portion control. Increasing your physical activity can also help you achieve a healthy weight.
Obesity can cause kidney disease both directly and indirectly; therefore, America's obesity epidemic is expected to increase rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Obesity directly causes kidney disease, because the kidneys have to work harder to filter out toxins and to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in obese individuals. This is called hyperfiltration and in the long term, it is associated with increased risk of developing CKD. As an indirect cause, obesity increases the major CKD risk factors: type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

Obese individuals should be screened for kidney disease on a regular basis. Weight loss can reduce risk for developing kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.