4 Common Conditions That Impact Kidney Health

A doctor explaining common conditions that impact kidney health to a health patient

Durham Nephrology specializes in high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease, and in numerous past blogs, we’ve explained how interconnected these two health conditions are. However, it’s important to note that high blood pressure is just one of many conditions that impact kidney health. The systems within our body are interconnected, but there are some illnesses or diseases that affect the kidneys more than others. In this blog, we’re sharing some common conditions that impact kidney health.

Heart Disease

Chronic kidney disease and high blood pressure come hand-in-hand in the medical world because uncontrolled high blood pressure can cause arteries around the kidneys to weaken. Once these arteries have been damaged, they can no longer deliver enough blood to kidney tissues, leading to further kidney harm. Once the kidneys have been damaged, they cannot function properly. 

One of the conditions that impact kidney health as well as blood pressure is heart disease. Heart disease is a general term for any blood vessel or heart problem that prevents your heart from pumping blood the way that it should. When you already have kidney disease, your heart has to pump harder to get blood into your kidneys. Because of the interconnected nature of the heart and the kidneys, blood pressure, heart disease, and kidney function are all important to monitor in order to stay healthy. Heart disease is the most common cause of death for people on dialysis, so this a condition that is essential to be aware of. 


The kidneys are fundamental in ensuring the proper function of your entire body. When the kidneys are not working properly, the risk of developing other health problems or complications increases. One of the conditions that we commonly see, in addition to kidney problems, is diabetes. The CDC reports that approximately 1 in 3 adults with diabetes also have CKD. Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can cause kidney disease.

A serious complication of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is known as diabetic nephropathy or diabetic kidney disease. In a healthy body, the kidneys work to remove extra fluid and waste products, but diabetic kidney disease affects this process and slowly damages the kidney’s filtering system over time. When left untreated, diabetic kidney disease can lead to end-stage kidney disease or kidney failure. 

Despite the fact that diabetes is one of the most common conditions that impact kidney health, you can prevent or delay diabetic kidney disease by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing your blood pressure and diabetes. Early discovery and treatment are also key in slowing the development of diabetic kidney disease and lowering the chance of complications. 


Lupus is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the immune system, which normally functions to protect the body from infection and disease, attacks its own tissues. This internal attack causes inflammation and, in some cases, permanent tissue damage within various systems of the body. It can affect numerous organs, including the skin, joints, heart, lungs, kidneys, blood cells, and brain. When the immune system attacks the kidneys, it is called lupus nephritis. While anyone is susceptible to lupus, women get the disease about nine times more often than men.  


Obesity is a risk factor for countless diseases, so it’s no surprise that it is also one of the conditions that impact kidney health. The main effects of obesity on kidney health are two-fold. The first is that obesity increases the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, which we have already mentioned can lead to kidney disease and other complications. 

Secondly, obesity has direct effects on the kidneys, as well. Extra weight causes the kidneys to work harder. Over time, this amount of pressure on the kidneys increases the risk for kidney disease.

Learn More

At Durham Nephrology, we provide comprehensive care to patients with kidney disease and high blood pressure in Durham and Oxford, NC. Our team is experienced in providing treatment in a variety of kidney disease treatments and dialysis modalities. If you have questions about health conditions that impact kidney health, contact Durham Nephrology online or call 1 (866) 434-2597 to make an appointment.


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