Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
Obesity can cause kidney disease both directly and indirectly, and therefore, the obesity epidemic in America is expected to increase rates of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the U.S.
Obesity directly causes kidney disease, because the kidneys have to work harder to filter out toxins and to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in obese individuals. This is called hyperfiltration and in the long term, it is associated with increased risk of developing CKD. As an indirect cause, obesity increases the major CKD risk factors, type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Obese individuals should be screened for kidney disease on a regular basis. “Weight reduction can prevent, reduce risk and, in some cases, cure CKD, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes,” says Dr. Joseph Vassalotti, National Kidney Foundation Chief Medical Officer, “and so losing weight is not about vanity. It is an important step to take to improve overall health.”
In order to treat obesity and CKD, people should focus on three areas: healthy diet, physical activity and adequate sleep.
Healthy lifestyle and an environment promoting healthy eating and physical activity will help in the prevention and treatment of obesity which in turn can reduce the risk of CKD as well as heart disease and diabetes.