Stress and Kidney Disease

Kidney disease is one of the most prevalent diseases in the United States. According to, 37 million people are affected by the disease in the country. That amounts
to 15% of the adult population.

Shockingly, 90% of those people don’t even know that they have kidney disease. Alone,
kidney disease must be treated and monitored to avoid complete renal (kidney) failure.
At that point, regular dialysis and an eventual kidney transplant will be required.

Unfortunately, stress can exacerbate the effects of kidney disease, ultimately leading to
kidney failure. If you want to learn more about how kidney disease and the effects of
high stress, continue reading for more information.

What is Kidney Disease?

Kidney disease happens when your kidneys become damaged. It can happen for a wide
variety of reasons. Mainly, diabetes and high blood pressure are two of the top causes
of kidney disease.

When a person has diabetes and doesn’t properly treat their condition, too much sugar
will become present in their bloodstream. Since the kidneys are responsible for filtering
the blood, these vital organs go into overdrive.

Over time, the kidneys become damaged. Similarly, high blood pressure can force
blood through the small blood vessels in the kidneys causing damage. The ugly truth
about kidney damage is that there aren’t often any noticeable symptoms and it may be

Victims can go several years without knowing they have the disease. However, the
common symptoms of kidney disease include:

  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Fatigue
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased urination
  • Foamy urine
  • Dry and itchy skin
  • Blood in urine

Since these symptoms aren’t at all specific to this disease, a medical diagnosis is
required to uncover kidney disease. If you are noticing these symptoms and any change
in your condition, then you should contact your physician immediately.

How Can Stress Affect the Body

Stress is defined as anything that affects the balance or the equilibrium of the human
body. There are two common types of stress, physiological and psychological.
Physiological stress can include disease, injury, and infection.

Conversely, psychological stress can include conflict, argument, and anxiety. Finding
out that you have kidney disease or any other chronic illness can cause a great deal of

People live with psychological stress every day. It can happen during important life
events, such as the birth of children and marriage. It can also be the result of an
emotionally challenging event, such as a divorce, financial issues, or the loss of a loved

Overall, stress is normal. The human body is equipped to deal with it through specific
processes. If you’ve noticed, when stress does happen, you may experience a spike in
blood pressure, tense muscles, dilated pupils, and faster breathing.

The fat and sugar content in your blood can also increase. This response is natural,
commonly called “fight or flight”. Even though this response is a very natural process,
too much stress can take a severe toll on your health. If you have kidney disease, too
much stress can ruin your health in the same way.

How Can Stress Impact Your Kidneys?

Not only does stress help your body positively react to crises and urgent dangers, but it
can also motivate you during tough challenges in life when handled properly. When the
body is under increased stress for far too long, it can harm your health.

All of the physical reactions from stress, such as increased blood pressure, heart rate,
and blood sugar, can result in a variety of complications. This is especially true if you
have kidney disease.

Furthermore, stress itself can also lead to kidney damage. Kidneys are the main blood
filtering machines of your body. This means they are prone to issues with your blood
vessels and its circulation.

As it was just mentioned, high blood pressure and diabetes are the top causes of kidney
damage. In the same token, increased blood pressure and blood sugar caused by
stress can also contribute to kidney disease.

In addition, kidney disease is at an increased risk of being diagnosed with blood vessel
and heart disease. If you have kidney disease, along with blood vessel or heart disease,
this means that you are at a dangerous disadvantage.

Therefore, whether your goal is to prevent kidney disease or any other complication,
managing stress can be your top priority.

What Can I Do To Manage My Stress?

It is extremely challenging, if not impossible, to totally eliminate stress. With a chronic
illness, you could be stressed every day. Nonetheless, there is a wide array of tips you
can take to manage your stress and control the responses as a result.

Here are some simple ways you can keep your stress under control.

  • Take on a healthy diet
  • Reduce caffeine and salt intake
  • Reduce sugar intake
  • Make time for relaxation
  • Meditate, participate in yoga, etc
  • Prayer
  • Consult a spiritual leader, friend, loved one, or medical professional for help
  • Record your thoughts in a journal
  • Get regular sleep
  • Maintain a positive perspective
  • Exercise regularly
  • Vacation

There are many easy ways to manage your stress on a daily basis. Creating your own
regiment will help you deal with stress so you can better cope with your condition.

Can Medication Help?

It is possible to take medication to deal with stress. Anti-depressants are key medication
doctors prescribe in an effort to mitigate the effects of stress. Particularly, a specific

family of anti-depressants known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is
commonly prescribed.

Lexapro, Prozac, and Paxil are SSRIs are the three highly-prescribed drugs to combat
anxiety and stress. If you are having trouble combatting the effects of stress on your
health, then speak to your doctor to learn more about being prescribed these anti-

However, you should consult with them to understand the cost-benefit analysis of taking
such drugs.

Contact Us Today!

Are you having trouble dealing with stress? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.
We strive to provide cutting-edge renal care, and we have built a strong reputation in
the state of Texas.

Give us a call at (210) 212-8622 to learn more about how we can help you today!

How to Understand Blood Pressure Readings

Doctors test blood pressure to see if the blood flow around the circulatory system is normal, low, or high. Too low or high blood pressure can lead to significant health complications like stroke, cardiac arrest, kidney failure, or brain damage.

Read More »

Comprehensive kidney care at state-of-the-art facilities

South Texas Renal Care Group offers everything from diagnostic testing and dialysis to guidance on kidney transplantation and clinical trial opportunities, right here in our modern, comfortable offices. We have many locations throughout San Antonio and South Texas, so you can spend less time traveling and more time focusing on your health.

Dedicated to meeting your individual needs

At South Texas Renal Care Group, you have our undivided attention every step of the way. You’ll receive the expert treatment you need and the personal care and attention you deserve.