What Are the Leading Causes of Liver and Kidney Disease?

What Are the Leading Causes of Liver and Kidney Disease?

The liver and kidneys are essential organs for the human body. Although medical interventions can deliver temporary support when they stop functioning, long-term health requires them to be at some level of usability.


When one of these organs fails, it’s not unusual for the other to also stop functioning. [[1]]


Although some of the reasons for disease development in the liver or kidneys involve viruses or genetic issues, many of the problems are self-inflicted. When someone drinks too much alcohol over an extended period, the choices can cause as much damage as medication side effects or other triggers.


Understanding the leading causes of liver and kidney disease makes it easier to prevent this health issue proactively.


What Are the Leading Causes of Liver Disease?


Liver disease is sometimes called cirrhosis. This condition occurs when scar tissue starts replacing the healthy tissues of the organ. That stops the liver from working as it should.


Acute injuries can also cause liver disease, but most issues are related to cirrhosis. The most common causes of this condition include a viral infection (often hepatitis), alcoholic abuse, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


The latter develops from conditions like high cholesterol, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and obesity.


Some of the lesson common causes of liver disease include autoimmune disorders, damaged or block bile ducts, exposure to some toxic chemicals, repeated heart failure episodes, and parasitic infections.


What Are the Leading Causes of Kidney Disease?


Kidney disease adversely impacts the body’s ability to clean the blood, filter extra water, and control blood pressure.


It also impacts vitamin D metabolism and red blood cell production.


When the kidneys become damaged or diseased, it can cause fluids and waste products to build up in the body. That causes swelling in the ankles, worsening sleep, nausea, and shortness of breath. Without treatment, the condition and damage can worsen until the organs stop working.


Kidney failure can be acute or chronic. The primary causes of them suddenly not working include not receiving enough blood, a direct injury, or urine backing up into the organs.


Autoimmune disorders can cause acute or chronic kidney issues.


When a person’s kidneys stop working well for at least three months, the condition moves from acute to chronic. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure are common instigators for this health issue.


Long-lasting viral illnesses, including HIV and hepatitis, can cause chronic problems. It also develops from inflammation, urinary tract infections, or polycystic kidney disease. The latter is a genetic condition that causes fluid-filled sacs to form in the organs.


Medication and Chemicals Can Cause Liver and Kidney Damage


Toxic liver disease causes damage to the organ. It’s sometimes referred to as hepatotoxicity, and it can cause serious symptoms if left untreated.


The liver is responsible for filtering everything that comes into the body. It clears out the chemicals, drugs, and alcohol, processing the unwanted items, so they get flushed out with bile or urine.


When the liver does its job, toxins sometimes form that inflame and damage the organ. It can be mild or severe, but prolonged issues can cause permanent scarring. That can even lead to liver failure.


In severe cases, especially when taking more acetaminophen than prescribed, short-term use can cause organ failure.


Medications can also cause acute kidney injuries. Antibiotics are among the most common examples of this issue, with cephalosporins and aminoglycosides leading the list. Some blood pressure medicines, HIV treatments, and NSAIDs create similar results.


That means over-the-counter products can cause kidney damage.


That’s why if you feel that medication is necessary, it should be treated with the utmost caution. Read and follow the instructions provided by a doctor or printed on the label. When you visit your doctor, you’ll want to make sure they know about everything you take, including herbal supplements and vitamins.


Insecticides, herbicides, and ethylene glycol are also known to cause kidney disease. [[2]]


How to Recognize Liver and Kidney Problems Early


When liver and kidney disease develops, it is usually easier to treat in its earliest stages. The only problem is that it can be challenging to recognize the symptoms, assuming that any appear.


Here are the common symptoms to watch for if noticeable ones develop.


Signs of Liver Disease

Signs of Kidney Disease

·         Abdominal pain and swelling

·         Swelling in the ankles and legs

·         Itchy skin

·         Chronic fatigue

·         Dark urine and pale stools

·         Appetite loss

·         Vomiting or nausea

·         Skin that bruises easily [[1]]

·         Dry and itchy skin

·         Trouble sleeping

·         Less energy and focus difficulties

·         Frequent urination, especially at night

·         Blood or foam in the urine

·         Puffiness around the eyes

·         Swollen ankles and feet

·         Cramping muscles [[2]]


Many of the symptoms of liver and kidney disease are similar. That’s why if they’re spotted, whether taking medication or not, your health should be professionally evaluated.


[[1]] https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/liver-problems/symptoms-causes/syc-20374502

[[2]] https://www.kidney.org/news/ekidney/august14/10_Signs_You_May_Have_Kidney_Disease


[[1]] https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-kidney-disease-basic-information

[[2]] https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/tv7198