Obesity Impacting Kidney

Obesity is spreading like an epidemic in the current population. By 2025, obesity will affect 18% of men and 21% of women worldwide. In some nations, obesity is already present in more than one-third of the adult population and contributes significantly to overall poor health and high annual medical costs. Imbalances of lifestyle, diet, routine habits and negligence towards evident factors have led to increasing obesity and its related cases. Many studies have been done to understand the effects that obesity causes to a body. One such major impact that obesity makes silently in human body, is on the Kidneys.

Obesity causing kidney disease

People who are overweight or obese have 2 to 7 more chances of developing End Stage Kidney Disease (ESKD) compared to those of normal weight. Obesity, in both direct and indirect ways can lead to increased risk of developing Chronic Kidney Diseases, abbreviated as CKDs in medical science. People who are obese are more susceptible to ailments like high blood pressure, cardiac troubles and type 2 diabetes. These health issues become major contributors leading to CKDs. Therefore, the obese population of the world is expected to have increased cases of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

In cases of obesity, even the medication may not prove that effective from deferring the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease. Therefore, it is important to understand that even if the medication is assisting in controlling blood sugar, blood pressure or cholesterol levels, you would still be at a higher risk due to obesity.

A direct cause would be when the kidneys have to work harder, filtering above the normal level, called hyper filtration, to meet the metabolic demands of the increased body mass index (BMI) in individuals affected by obesity. This increase in normal function is also associated with a higher risk of developing CKD in the long-term.

Preventive measures

Individuals with diagnosed obesity should be medically examined for presence of Diabetes, high blood pressure and Kidney diseases on a regular basis. Reducing weight can reduce various risks like developing kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Healthy lifestyle which includes healthy eating and regular physical activity will prevent and help in treating obesity.

Three simple tips to prevent or treat obesity are-

  • Limit energy intake from total fats and sugars
  • Increase consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Engage in regular physical activity (60 minutes a day for children and 150 minutes spread through the week for adults)

This will further reduce risks of CKD and all the major related chronic ailments.

Dr. Vijay Kumar Sinha
Associate Director
Department of Nephrology & Kidney Transplant
Book an Appointment