Common Causes of Chronic Kidney Disease

There are many different kidney diseases and disorders. Some kidney diseases are present at birth and others develop as we grow older. Often, kidney disease is associated with other medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

Most diseases of the kidney attack the filtering units in the kidney, damaging their ability to remove wastes and excess fluids. There is no cure, but it may be possible to prevent CKD or slow it down. This is especially true in people with diabetes and/or high blood pressure, the leading causes of kidney failure.

The kidneys may be damaged if there is an obstruction (or blockage) of urine from the kidneys. Obstructions may occur in the ureters or at the outlet of the bladder. When the blockage occurs in the fetus during pregnancy, the kidneys may not develop properly and this could lead to CKD in children. In adults, causes of urinary tract obstruction can be an enlarged prostate gland, kidney stones or tumours.

Other problems can affect the kidneys. Some of these are Alport syndrome, Fabry disease, kidney cancer, Medullary Sponge Kidney (MSK), Wilms’ tumor (children only), bacterial infections and drug- or medication-induced kidney problems.

Click on the menu links for more information on some of the causes of chronic kidney disease, or visit the Services and Support section of this website to download or order brochures from your local Kidney Foundation branch office.



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