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What causes kidneys to stop working?

The two most common causes of kidney failure are high blood pressure and diabetes. It's important to prevent these conditions by following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise. If you suspect that you may have one of these conditions, it's important to talk to your doctor because early treatment can help prevent kidney failure. 
There are many things that can cause kidneys to stop working or to not work properly. As we age, kidney function decreases. There are many diseases that can affect the kidneys. These can be diseases you are born with (for example, polycystic kidney disease) or develop sometime during your life (such as glomerulonephritis).

Two common diseases that cause kidney failure include diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) and high blood pressure (hypertension). Also, diseases that cause failure in other organs, such as the heart or liver, often will cause damage to the kidneys. Kidneys can become damaged if they are not getting good blood flow. This can happen if you become dehydrated or seriously ill. Other things that can damage the kidneys include kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and medications or drugs.

If you have had an organ transplant, you will take medications to prevent your body from rejecting your new organ. Some of these medications may be hard on the kidneys and over time can cause damage.

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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.