Obesity and Kidney Disease

a person standing on a scale to represent Obesity and Kidney Disease

Many of us are aware of the implication that obesity has on our overall health and wellness. Obesity impacts so many different areas of the body and can lead to the development of various conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Because our bodies are so interconnected, it’s not surprising that obesity can also have harmful effects on our kidneys, in addition to the cardiovascular system. It’s important to note that obesity is not just correlated with kidney disease, but in fact, obesity can actually be a cause of kidney disease. In this blog, we’re taking a closer look at the relationship between obesity and kidney disease and examining the steps you can take to manage kidney disease associated with obesity.


Not only is obesity a possible cause of kidney disease, but it is also a substantial risk factor in the development of CKD. Along with CKD, obesity also increases the risk of diabetes and hypertension, which can directly impact the outcome of end-stage renal disease. All of these risk factors are related to one another, making obesity the starting point in an overall vicious cycle. Obesity is a worldwide epidemic, one that is expected to continue to grow. While the statistics look bleak for the upcoming decade, it’s important to note that obesity and related CKD are largely preventable. Building awareness and education can help usher in a greater understanding of the importance of eating healthy and exercising regularly.

The Relationship Between Obesity and Kidney Disease

To break down the relationship between obesity and kidney disease, it’s important to start by explaining how obesity impacts the body. Obesity begins to change the blood flow and pressure in the kidneys early on, even before long-term effects on the kidneys become apparent. This is because excess body fat is not just passive storage of fat but rather its own endocrine organ that produces hormones. These hormones are the cause of the changes in blood flow and pressure. Left uncontrolled, these hormones from the excess fat can lead to permanent scarring and the beginning of CKD.


Because of how detrimental obesity is for your overall health, it’s important to take steps to lose weight in order to resolve the main cause of multiple health issues. Lifestyle changes, such as eating healthy and exercising, are the most effective treatment for obesity. For more immediate treatment against the hormones that affect the pressure and blood flow to your kidneys, some ACE inhibitors may be effective in blocking the actions of these hormones. If you are concerned with the effects that obesity has on your kidneys, it’s important to act sooner rather than later to avoid the risk of end-stage kidney disease. Consult your doctor or one of the specialists at Durham Nephrology to make a treatment plan.

Make an Appointment

At Durham Nephrology, our team is experienced in providing treatment and guidance to kidney patients, including looking out for their overall health and wellness. If you have questions about taking care of yourself while dealing with kidney disease or high blood pressure, call us at 919-477-3005 to talk to a staff member and make an appointment.


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