Eat Now, Pay Later?

Chronic kidney disease


It’s a kind of buy now, pay later plan, but it’s not one you’ll like. Adults who are overweight in early adulthood may pay for it by the time they reach their senior years with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Researchers with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine recently published their findings about the relationship between early adult obesity and CKD later in life in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

Looking at body mass index (BMI) data from nearly 4,600 participants aged 20, 26, 36, 43, 53, and 60 to 64 years, the study concluded that if you are or become overweight between the ages of 26- to 36-years-old, you are nearly twice as likely to develop CKD between the ages of 60 to 64 than if you were never overweight or didn’t become overweight until your sixties.

CKD can manifest in many ways including cardiovascular disease and stroke, which can lead to premature death.

The message is clear: When it comes to preventing CKD, less is more—less weight, that is.



"Chronic Kidney Disease," MedlinePlus,

"Chronic Kidney Disease Increases Risk of Death at All Ages, Study Finds," 10/31/12; "Overweight Starting in Early Adulthood Linked with Kidney Disease in Older Age," 4/4/13; "Poor Kidney Function Linked to Future Heart and Brain Problems," 9/30/10,

Healthy eating tips

Eating to maintain a healthy weight may not be easy at first, but information to help you do so is easily available.

Here are some tips for healthy eating for women and healthy eating for men from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Do you have chronic kidney disease?

Early detection of CKD is challenging as the symptoms may not be apparent or may present as symptoms more commonly associated with other maladies.

Some of the more common early symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue or lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Nausea and unintended weight loss.

Other symptoms that may present when kidney function weakens include:

  • Bone pain
  • Bad breath
  • Easily bruising or bleeding, or blood in the stool
  • Excessive thirst
  • Unusually dark or light skin tone
  • Drowsiness
  • Frequent hiccoughs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty concentrating or confusion
  • Numb hands or feet
  • Twitching
  • Loss of menstruation (prior to menopause)
  • Vomiting, especially in the morning
  • Insomina, restless leg syndrome, or sleep apnea
  • Swollen hands or feet.