The age has a natural effect on our body. No one can escape it. Allthough many people might put themselves through enormous pain and suffering to cover the signs of aging on the outsite of their bodies, it does not prevent the aging to continue inside them. One way to messure the impact of aging on the kidneys is by the Glomerular filtration rate.
The Kidneys feel the effect of their year long work. Filtering our blood 24/7 after all this time our bean shaped little helpers get tired and loose power. Aging changes the entire urianry system, of which the kidneys are an essential part of.
Aging is known to increase the risk of kidney and bladder problems. This includes Bladder control issues, urinary retention, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections as well as chronic kidney disease.
Age related changes on the Kidneys include:
- Decreased amount of kidney tissue
- Decresed amount of mass (up to 20 %)
- The number of Nephrons, that are filtering waste material, decrease.
- The Blood vessels that transport blood to and from the kidneys can harden. This results in a slower filtration process.
An age-associated loss of kidney function is known throughout the medical field for a long time. One of the most significant changes is the loss in glomerular filtration rate. This varies among individuals, however some sources estimate a decrease from about 2% of GFR (Glomerular Filtration Rate) each year. The decrease occurs due to the reduction in glomerular capillary plasma. In addition to changes within the Kidneys, there are also changes in actual mass of the kidneys. These changes may make the kidney vulnerable to acute as well as chronical kidney diesease.
Elderly people are at higher risk of dehydration. The regualtion of the bodies water balance is mostly controlled by the kidneys. With the loss of Kidney function, elderly people should be careful under situations of hot weather or diarrea. Elderly people are at a higher risk in developing CKD – Chronical Kidney Disease.
When do your kidneys start to age?
Studies show that the decline in GFR started at the age of 30 – 40 years, in male and females. It is suspected that the decrease accelerates from the age of 60+ years.
In average the loss of Filtration is about 0,8 ml/min/1.73 m2 each year. The mentioned GFR decline is independent of hypertension or cardiovascular disease. It is simply age related decline in Kidney function, messured by GFR.
Average Glomerular filtration rate by age