The etiology of kidney or renal disease is mutifactorial. By and large the most common causes are undiagnosed hypertension and diabetes mellitus.
Undiagnosed high blood pressure is a major cause of renal failure, if properly diagnosed and treated though it is easily managed. Hypertension causes vasoconstriction of blood vessels in and around the renal parenchyma, in particular the renal arteries.
Diabetes mellitus is a second common cause. DM affects circulatory physiology and damages the kidneys because of decreased blood flow. As with hypertension, if properly diagnosed and treated, DM can be easily controlled and thus prevent damage to the renal system.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are multiple causes of kidney disease. The kidneys may be affected by other ailments such as high blood pressure or diabetes. It may also be congenital which means that an individual was born with a kidney abnormality.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. High blood sugar levels present in the body can cause many different problems. High blood pressure (hypertension) also has an affect on the kidneys. If these conditions are controlled there is a decreased chance of developing kidney disease. Glomerulonephritis is another condition that affects the kidneys. This means there is inflammation of the glomeruli which are small filters within the kidneys.
Polycystic Kidney Disease is the most common type of inherited kidney disease. Cysts form over time and can cause damage to the kidneys, or even kidney failure.
Certain drugs can also cause kidney damage.
High blood pressure and diabetes are the two largest causes of kidney disease in the United States today, accounting for more than two-thirds of all cases. Kidney disease is a fairly generic term, however, and there are many ways in which kidney damage and renal failure can occur as well. In some cases, kidney disease or disorders are genetic in nature, passed down from generation to generation. A simple test can determine whether or not a person has a genetic form of kidney disease.
It is also possible to damage the kidneys by taking too much Ibuprofen (such as Advil), as the substance builds up more quickly than the kidneys can remove it and the organ can sustain damage.