Kidney problems

Conditions that affect your kidneys

What effect does diabetes have on the kidneys?

Diabetes is now the most common cause of kidney failure in America. About one third of patients with kidney failure have it because of diabetes. There are three main things that can be done to reduce the likelihood of kidney failure in diabetics:

  1. Have tight control over blood sugar.
  2. Reduce blood pressure, by weight loss or other means.
  3. Take blood pressure medicines that are designed to protect against the progression of kidney disease.

Is the kidney regularly "monitored" in diabetic patients?

Yes. In diabetic patients we monitor both blood pressure and protein in their urine. These tests are done at least once a year.

Do recurrent kidney stones lead to kidney disease?

Kidney stones don’t lead to kidney failure often. However, if they cause long-term obstruction of the kidney, they may lead to kidney failure.

Can the non-functioning kidney cause recurrent UTI's (urinary tract infections)?

No, generally speaking, patients do not get urinary tract infections because of a non-functioning kidney.

What does blood in the urine typically mean?

There are many causes for blood in urine.

Are alcoholics at risk for kidney disease?

No, excessive alcohol consumption does not cause kidney disease.

When the kidneys are echogenicity what does that mean?

Typically it means there is scarring or cysts within the kidney that we see with a special kind of x-ray.

Can being overweight cause kidneys to fail?

Being overweight is a major contributor to high blood pressure, which often has a relationship with kidney failure. Patients who are seriously overweight should try to get their weight and blood pressure down.

Can people with kidney failure still eat sweets?

There is no relation between sweets and kidney failure, only sweets and diabetes.

Can kidney and urinary tract abnormalities be detected before birth?

The most common urinary tract problems affecting babies are often diagnosed by ultrasound before birth. Sometimes these can be repaired before the baby is born.

Last reviewed: 
February 2019

Interested in using our health content?