What causes kidney failure?

There are a number of known causes of kidney failure but in quite a lot of people the cause is never found. The commonest causes are diabetes, high blood pressure and a painless inflammation of the kidneys called glomerulonephritis. There is a progressive loss of the filtering units (nephrons) in the kidney.

Other common causes are the inherited condition of cysts in the kidneys (polycystic kidney disease); repeated kidney infections or kidney infections (pyelonephritis) in childhood; and obstruction to the urine flow.

A quick summary of the common causes of kidney failure:

For more information see  Specific kidney disorders

Back to The physical aspects of kidney failure