John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Various conditions can damage the kidneys, including both primary kidney diseases and other conditions that affect the kidneys.
If kidney damage becomes too severe, the kidneys lose their ability to function normally. This is called kidney failure.
Kidney failure can happen rapidly (acute kidney failure), usually in response to a severe acute (sudden, short-term) illness in another body system or in the kidneys. It is a very common complication in patients hospitalized for other reasons. It is often completely reversible with resolution of the underlying condition.
Kidney failure can also happen very slowly and gradually (chronic kidney failure), usually in response to a chronic (ongoing, long-term) disease such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Both types of kidney failure can occur in response to primary kidney disease as well. In some cases, this kidney disease is hereditary.
Infections and substances such as drugs and toxins can permanently scar the kidneys and lead to their failure.
People with the following conditions are at greater-than-normal risk of developing kidney failure and end-stage renal disease:
Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
High blood pressure, especially if severe or uncontrolled
Glomerular diseases (These are conditions that damage the glomeruli, such as glomerulonephritis.)