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According to the National Kidney Foundation, kidney disease affects 10 percent of the world’s population. Kidney disease is caused by several factors, and it’s important to know those risk factors, because the condition often doesn’t cause symptoms, especially in the early stages. Here’s what you need to know.


If you are taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, you are at greater risk for kidney complications. NSAIDs are available both over-the-counter (as in ibuprofen and naproxen) and by prescription. Regular use of NSAIDs can permanently damage your kidneys, eventually leading to kidney failure and requiring dialysis. If you need pain relief regularly, talk to your doctor about other pain relief medications.


People diagnosed with diabetes have a greater risk of developing acute kidney complications. This is due to high blood sugars damaging small blood vessels in the kidney and keeping them from cleaning the blood properly.

Signs of kidney disease in diabetic patients include high blood pressure, ankle and leg swelling, weakness, paleness and high levels of blood urea nitrogen (BUN) in the blood.

Heart Disease

If you have heart disease, you are more likely to have kidney disease. In addition, if you have kidney disease, you are at risk for heart disease. That’s due to these two organs supporting each other. People with heart disease should be aware of the increased risk and have their kidney function checked often.

Family History

If members of your family have suffered from chronic kidney disease, you have a greater risk of developing it. Educate yourself on your family background and visit a doctor if you feel you may be at risk.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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