What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?


Sep 27, 2021

What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

What Causes Chronic Kidney Disease?

In order to determine why someone has developed chronic kidney disease, a healthcare provider will go over their complete medical history and may run some tests.  Determining what led to the kidney disease is important because the type of treatment the patient receives could be affected due to what caused the chronic kidney disease.  The most common causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD) are diabetes and high blood pressure.


Diabetic Kidney Disease is the medical term for kidney disease caused by diabetes. If there is too much glucose (sugar) in the blood it damages the kidneys’ filters.  Over time the kidneys become so damaged they are unable to effectively filter the waste and extra fluid from the blood.  

One of the first signs of Diabetic Kidney Disease is protein in the urine.  A protein called albumin passes out of the blood and into the urine when the kidneys filters are damaged.  Albumin is an important protein needed to stay healthy.  An undamaged and healthy kidney does not let albumin pass from the blood into urine and out of the body.  

High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure damages the blood vessels in the kidneys. This causes them to not work as well to remove wastes and extra fluids from the body; in turn, the extra fluids that build up in the blood vessels may then cause the blood pressure to rise even higher. This is quite a dangerous cycle for the body to endure.  

Other Causes

  • A genetic disorder called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) that causes cysts to grow in the kidneys. 
  • Infection 
  • A drug that is toxic to the kidneys
  • Diseases that affect the entire body, such as diabetes, and lupus.  Lupus is an autoimmune disease, and Lupus Nephritis is the medical name for kidney disease caused by lupus.
  • IgA glomerulonephritis  
  • Disorders that cause the body’s own immune system to attack its own cells and organs, such as Anti-GBM (Goodpasture’s) disease. 
  • Heavy metal poisoning. (such as Lead poisoning).
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome in children.
  • IgA Vasculitis
  • Renal artery stenosis

Related Articles

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

What Do Your Kidney Do?

Signs that You Have Chronic Kidney Disease

Treatment Options for Chronic Kidney Disease


National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)  

About the Author

Monica McCarthy has bachelors in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Central Washington University.  A majority of her career was spent as a political consultant.   She currently works at KidneyLuv as a staff writer.

Patient Education Disclaimer

This material is for informational purposes only. It does not replace the advice or counsel of a doctor or health care professional. KidneyLuv makes every effort to provide information that is accurate and timely, but makes no guarantee in this regard. You should consult with, and rely only on the advice of, your physician or health care professional.

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