Lifestyle choices such as excessive drinking and lack of exercise play a role in the development of kidney disease but, contrary to what many believe, some aspects of kidney disease may be hereditary. If there’s someone in your family with kidney disease, then you may be at an increased risk of developing the disease. Changes in daily habits can certainly affect risks of kidney disease, but levels of certain proteins in the body can also shed light on kidney health. New advances in medical research make prevention more feasible than ever before. Here are a few factors that impact an individual’s risk for kidney disease.
The National Kidney Foundation reports that two out of three adults in America drink alcohol. Of those that do drink, most of them said that they sometimes consume five or more drinks in one sitting. This amount of alcohol is considered to be binge drinking. Even if a person is not clinically addicted to alcohol, drinking to this degree of excess can lead to acute kidney failure. Over time, it has proven to lead to an increased risk of kidney disease.
Maintaining an active lifestyle and healthy BMI is proven to decrease the chances of many diseases, chronic kidney disease (CKD) included. For an individual already struggling with CKD, exercise can still be beneficial, depending on a doctor’s recommendations. Often, light aerobic exercise multiple times a week is ideal.
Individuals who are chronically dehydrated have an increased risk of kidney disease. Anyone who has gotten the flu or experienced a stomach virus is most likely familiar with kidney pain. This discomfort felt during times of sickness is attributed to severe dehydration. Drinking at least eight glasses of water amongst other clear liquids daily is standard amount recommended for adults.
Traditionally, people have believed that the risk of kidney disease is more rooted in an individual’s lifestyle choices rather than their genetics. That is no longer the case. New advances in genetic testing allow patients and their close relatives to test for specific genetic mutations that shed light on a person’s risk of developing kidney disease. An individual may be exponentially more likely to develop kidney disease if a parent or grandparent also suffers (or suffered) from it. Knowing risks ahead of time can be medically invaluable for individuals with a goal of preventing kidney disease in the future.
Research shows that klotho protein, which is a naturally occurring bodily substance, may influence the development of CKD in some patients. In research done on both humans and animals, lesser quantities of Klotho proteins indicated an increased risk of kidney problems. Research is now being done to not only explore the link between klotho and wellness, but to develop therapy and other types of medical solutions.
The medical community aims to educate on kidney disease more than ever before. Genetic research highlights risk factors, while investigating the presence or lack of klotho protein can also shed light another important risk factor of kidney disease. Paired with a healthy lifestyle, awareness of the latest research in factors affecting the development of CKD can make the difference in avoiding kidney disease.