Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Although chronic kidney disease sometimes results from primary diseases of the kidneys themselves, the major causes are
diabetes and high blood pressure.
Type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus cause a condition called
diabetic nephropathy, which is the leading cause of kidney disease in the United States.
High blood pressure (hypertension), if not controlled, can damage the kidneys over time.
Glomerulonephritis is the inflammation and damage of the filtration system of the kidneys,
which can cause kidney failure. Postinfectious conditions and
lupus are among the many causes of glomerulonephritis.
Polycystic kidney disease is a hereditary cause of chronic kidney disease wherein both kidneys have multiple cysts.
Use of analgesics such as
acetaminophen (Tylenol) and
ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) regularly over long durations of time can cause analgesic nephropathy, another cause of kidney disease. Certain other medications can also damage the kidneys.
Clogging and hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
leading to the kidneys causes a condition called ischemic nephropathy, which
is another cause of progressive kidney damage.
Obstruction of the flow of urine by
enlarged prostate, strictures (narrowings), or cancers may also cause kidney disease.