Kidneys can be overweight
Compared to normal-weight people, people who are very overweight and have a body mass index over 40 are more likely to have impaired kidney function. So far, however, the exact mechanisms of kidney damage in obesity are unclear.
People with obesity have reduced kidney function more often People with severe overweight and a body mass index over 40 often have reduced kidney function compared to normal weight people. According to press reports, the head of nephrology at Leipzig University Hospital, Professor Tom Linder, said: “In some patients, being overweight can have a negative impact on kidney function. This happens regardless of other diseases such as high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes mellitus, for which the risk is also greatly increased in overweight people. The first signs of kidney impairment can be increased creatinine levels in the blood and the excretion of proteins in the urine. ”The kidneys could therefore be affected by obesity even if there are no secondary diseases of the overweight.
Secondary diseases increase the kidney load. However, the secondary diseases of adipostasis often occur and increase the kidney load. Affected people initially suffer from a metabolic syndrome, which is a combination of symptoms such as sugar and fat metabolism disorders and high blood pressure. Even the metabolic syndrome has a negative impact on the kidneys and, if left untreated, it often leads to the typical complications of obesity such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, which further aggravate the kidneys.
Impact on only some of the patients The Integrated Research and Treatment Center (IFB) Obesity Diseases of the University of Leipzig and the University Clinic Leipzig reports on the occasion of World Kidney Day on March 13th about new findings in obesity research. The scientists explained that the exact mechanisms behind kidney damage in obesity are still unclear. It is interesting, however, that overweight only negatively affects kidney function in some of the patients.
Progranulin promotes inflammatory processes One reason for the negative effect of obesity on the kidneys could be that obese people increasingly have certain protein hormones from the adipose tissue (adipokines) in the blood. Leptin, for example, increases the sclerosis of blood vessels and this leads to a deterioration in kidney performance. At the center of Thomas Ebert's research at the IFB is the adipokine progranulin: "The progranulin levels in the blood of patients with obesity or with type 2 diabetes are significantly increased." Progranulin and its breakdown products promote inflammatory processes and can therefore be a long-term risk for increase type 2 diabetes mellitus and arteriosclerosis.
Metabolism and kidney impairment For the first time, Ebert was able to demonstrate that a reduced filtration rate of the kidneys goes hand in hand with increased progranulin levels. Due to the reduced kidney function, these excess adipokines are not excreted sufficiently and further impair metabolism and kidneys. In the long term, this vicious cycle could contribute to the increased rate of cardiovascular diseases with impaired kidney function. Further research projects must investigate whether the excess adipokines have a direct kidney-damaging effect. (sb)