Understanding Your Kidneys Better

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The two leading causes of kidney disease are high blood pressure and diabetes.

If you have two healthy kidneys, you have 100 percent of your kidney function. The human body is so amazing. This is more than you really need. That is why some people are born with one kidney, or give one of their healthy kidneys to a loved one, and are able to lead a normal, healthy life. So you see, even with declines in kidney function, you can still be healthy with 50 percent of your kidney function, if it remains stable. But many people with 50 percent of their kidney function have a kidney disease that will continually get worse. You will have some serious health problems if you have less than 20 percent of your kidney function. If kidney function drops below 10 to 15 percent, you cannot live long without either dialysis or a transplant. Damage to the kidneys may happen quickly, as the result of injury or poisoning. But most kidney diseases are slow and silent. It can take many years for the damage to become apparent.
Here are some of those slow, silent destroyers of healthy kidneys:

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