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What are the risk factors for developing kidney disease?

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Quick Answer

Risk factors for developing kidney disease include diabetes, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, smoking, high cholesterol and being over the age of 65, according to Mayo Clinic. Another risk factor is being of Asian-American, African-American or Native American descent, since these ethnicities are more prone to developing the disease.

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Full Answer

Chronic kidney disease affects the kidneys and keeps them from functioning properly. People with chronic kidney disease end up with high waste levels in their blood and complications such as anemia, high blood pressure, nerve damage, poor nutrition and fragile bones, states the National Kidney Foundation. The symptoms of chronic kidney disease include problems concentrating, lack of appetite, problems sleeping, lack of energy, problems with muscle cramping, swollen extremities, puffy eyes and dry skin as well as frequent urination.

To diagnose chronic kidney disease, a doctor will need to run a series of tests, which may include blood pressure, serum creatinine, urine albumin, a kidney biopsy, a GFR calculation test and an ultrasound. It is important to treat chronic kidney disease at the early stages because if the disease is not treated, a patient may suffer from strokes and heart attacks that can be life-threatening, reports the National Kidney Foundation.

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