Most Americans with kidney disease are not aware they have it. This is because people do not feel symptoms until their kidneys are badly damaged. Knowing if you are at risk for kidney disease and how you can prevent it can help you live your best life.
Know your risk of having kidney disease
Anyone can get kidney disease, but some people have a higher chance (risk). Diabetes is the number one cause, and high blood pressure is the number two cause of kidney disease. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure or both, you are at high risk for kidney disease.
Other risk factors for kidney disease include:
- Heart disease
- Being Black, Latino, Asian or Native American
- Having a family member who has kidney disease or died from it
- Being over age 60
Having one of these risk factors does not mean that you will get kidney disease. Even if you have these risk factors, there are steps you can take to prevent kidney disease.
Talk with your doctor today about prevention and treatment
Download a doctor discussion guide to learn how to talk with your doctor about kidney disease, including questions to ask about how to prevent or slow down kidney disease.
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Know the steps to prevent kidney disease
Work with your doctor to control your blood sugar
More than 34 million Americans have diabetes. If you have diabetes, you have a higher chance of kidney disease. And almost half of all people with kidney failure have it because of diabetes.
The best way to prevent kidney disease caused by diabetes is to work with your doctor to control your blood sugar. Ask your doctor about new medicines that help people with diabetes prevent kidney disease.
Work with your doctor to control your blood pressure
If you have high blood pressure, you have a higher chance of kidney disease.
High blood pressure is serious because over time, it can damage the blood vessels that bring blood to your kidneys and cause them to stop working. If your kidneys stop working, you will need dialysis or a transplant to live.
If you have high blood pressure, you can prevent kidney disease by working with your doctor to control your blood pressure.
Ask your doctor for tests to check how well your kidneys are working
Nine out of 10 people with early kidney disease do not know they have it because there are no symptoms until the late stages. The only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested. Testing is especially important if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease.
Ask your doctor to do tests to check for kidney disease. Simple blood and urine tests will tell your doctor how well your kidneys are working and if you have any signs of kidney disease
If you find kidney disease early, there are actions you and your doctor can take to keep it from getting worse. Even small changes can help prevent kidney disease.
Know how to prevent diabetic kidney disease
Almost half of all people with kidney failure have it because of diabetes. But you cannot feel if diabetes is harming your kidneys. Watch this webinar to learn how to prevent diabetic kidney disease.
Learn about preventing kidney disease
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