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Common Causes of Kidney Disease in Older Adults

Over time, some people find their kidneys slowly stop working correctly. Chronic kidney disease affects 37 million adults in the U.S. Early detection is important as it can keep the disease from progressing into kidney failure.

What are the common causes of kidney disease? March is National Kidney Month. It’s a good time to take a closer look at chronic kidney disease to get a better understanding of why it happens.

There Are Two Main Causes

Two things stand out as the reason kidney disease occurs. The first is high blood pressure. The second is diabetes.

Start with high blood pressure. When it’s present, it puts more pressure on the blood vessels, which causes damage. Over time, they narrow, which reduces the amount of blood that flows through the kidneys. That makes it harder for them to correctly remove waste and fluids from the blood, which in turn can increase blood pressure.

It’s estimated that about 33 percent of diabetics also have kidney disease. Diabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than they should be. Kidneys are responsible for removing waste and excess fluid from the bloodstream. The high blood sugar levels can damage blood vessels in the kidneys, which keeps the kidneys from working effectively.

Prevention is Key

If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, management of those underlying diseases is critical in keeping the kidneys healthy. People with high blood pressure need to use diet, exercise, and even medications to keep the blood pressure at ideal levels.

For diabetics, management of blood sugar levels through diet, exercise, and regular testing is important. If glucose or insulin are needed to balance high and low readings, make sure your parents understand how. They may need to work closely with medical professionals to do this.

They need to see their doctor as often as is recommended. It may be yearly exams or several exams a year. Monitoring blood pressure may be something your parents have to start doing each week at home. Checking blood sugar levels is going to happen several times a day.

If your mom and dad have high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, diet and exercise are important. You may need to encourage them to follow doctor’s orders. What if you don’t live close enough to stop by each day?

Talk to a home care agency about daily visits from professional caregivers. Caregivers can cook meals for your parents, encourage them to go for walks, and drive them to their different medical appointments. Caregivers become an integral part of the team helping keep your parents healthy.


If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Groveland, FL, please contact the caring staff at Golden Heart Senior Care of Clermont today. 1-888-423-4046.