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5 Common Kidney
Health Questions

1. Does kidney disease run in families?

Yes and no. Most cases of kidney disease are caused by diabetes or high blood pressure. Both diabetes and high blood pressure tend to run in families. This means that, while you don’t inherit this kind of kidney disease from your parents, you may be at more risk for kidney disease if your family has a history of kidney disease, diabetes or high blood pressure.

The only common kidney disease that is directly passed down from parents to their children is polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

2. How much water should I drink?

You may not need to drink a full eight glasses of water every day to stay healthy, as once thought, but water is still a better choice than drinks with caffeine like soda, coffee or tea. Avoiding sugary juices and fruit punches is also a good idea, especially if you have diabetes. Drinking plenty of water may also help prevent kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Learn some easy ways to add water to your diet—and make the Pair Up Promise today!

Note: If you have late-stage kidney disease or are on dialysis, you may need to limit how much you drink. Talk to your doctor or a dietitian about how much fluid you should have each day.

3. Is alcohol bad for my kidneys?

Alcohol affects your liver more directly than your kidneys, but it can raise your blood pressure. High blood pressure can damage the tiny filters in your kidneys. In fact, high blood pressure is the second-leading cause of kidney failure.

Still, in moderation, alcohol is usually not a problem for healthy people. As a general rule, this means no more than two drinks per day for men or no more than one drink per day for women.

Note: Alcohol can also be dangerous if taken with some medicines. Check with your doctor or pharmacist to learn whether it is safe for you to drink.

4. Is soda bad for my kidneys?

A recent study suggests that drinking two or more cola drinks (either diet or regular) each day may increase your risk for chronic kidney disease. Other types of sodas (non-colas) did not seem to increase the risk. Learn why it’s important to subtract sugary drinks and other empty calories from your diet.

5. Is cranberry juice good for my kidneys?

Cranberry juice is not used to treat or prevent kidney disease, but some evidence suggests that cranberry juice may help prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs).

Read more about common kidney health questions here

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