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What causes kidney disease?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The causes of kidney disease may vary from person to person and across the types of the condition, but can be caused by a number of things which can damage kidney function, including:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Glomerular diseases (diseases that attack blood vessels in the kidneys)
  • Poison
  • Physical trauma
  • Long-term use of some over-the-counter medications like painkillers

Sometimes kidney disease isn't caused by these factors and is instead a genetic disorder. Kidney disease can also be congenital, meaning it develops while a baby is still inside her mother. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease.

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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.