Early Detection

Anyone can get Kidney disease. However, new research has created a great deal of interest through the possibility of diagnosing Kidney disease early and offering preventative treatment before the kidneys are completely destroyed. There are several tests that can detect Kidney disease. Your doctor can perform the initial testing procedures.

The two main causes of Kidney disease are Diabetes and High blood pressure or Hypertension.

Causes of Kidney Disease

  • Diabetes mellitus;
  • High blood pressure (hypertension);
  • Glomerulonephritis;
  • Polycystic kidney disease (PCKD);
  • Renovascular disease;
  • Chronic pyelonephritis;
  • Lupus erythematosus;
  • Kidney stones;
  • Urinary tract infections; and
  • Analgesic nephropathy and drugs.

Most of these conditions occur over a long period of time and cause damage to both kidneys. Even if further deterioration can be stopped the damage already done is usually permanent.

Early diagnosis and careful management of these conditions can delay and even prevent the onset of kidney failure. In many cases of chronic kidney failure no cause can be determined.

Don’t smoke as there is no safe level of smoking and it damages blood vessel walls.

Maintain your weight within a healthy range for your height with a well balanced diet. Regular moderate exercise of 30 minutes on all, or most, days of the week will also help control your weight.


Diabetes is the second most common cause of Kidney disease in Australia, with Diabetic Kidney disease developing in approximately one third of people with diabetes. One quarter of Australians either suffer from Diabetes or are at risk of developing it. As the number of people with Diabetes grows so will the number of diabetics developing end-stage kidney or renal failure.


Hypertension affects the majority of patients with Kidney disease and is the primary cause of kidney failure in 15% of renal patients Australia wide. Chronic Kidney disease is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease which results in heart attacks and strokes. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among patients with Chronic Kidney disease.

How can I look after my kidneys?

You can look after the health of your kidneys by having an annual check-up with a doctor which includes having:

  • Blood pressure checked;
  • Urine checked for blood and protein; and
  • Full kidney function blood test.