Know how to prevent kidney disease

Good health makes it possible to experience all the special moments in life.

And just like you need your heart, lungs, and liver—you need your kidneys to live. Most Americans with kidney disease aren’t even aware they have it. You won’t feel symptoms until your kidneys are badly damaged.

Knowing what causes kidney disease, and knowing the actions you can to take to prevent it, can help you live your best life.

 

Here are FIVE things you should know about kidney disease:

  • number 1

    People with diabetes and high blood pressure are most at risk for kidney disease.

  • number 2

    There are no symptoms in the early stages of kidney disease.

  • number 3

    Kidney disease means permanent damage to the kidneys that cannot be reversed.

BUT

  • number 4

    If kidney disease is caught early, there are actions you and your doctor can take to keep it from getting worse.

  • number 5

    The only way to know if you have kidney disease is to get a blood and a urine test.

KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDNEYS DO

Your kidneys are two bean-shaped organs located in your lower back area. You need at least one healthy kidney to keep your body working the way it should. Your kidneys help control your blood pressure and help keep your bones healthy.

 

However, the kidneys’ most important job is to clean out the waste from your blood. If your kidneys don’t work, or don’t work well enough, they can’t get rid of the waste in your body. If your kidneys stop working, known as having kidney failure, you will need dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive.

Talk to your doctor today about prevention and treatment.

It's the small moments every day that add up to life's possibilities.

Don’t miss the chance to learn more. Download our discussion guides to help you learn how to prevent kidney disease or how to keep your kidney disease from getting worse.

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2020
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KNOW IF YOU’RE AT RISK FOR KIDNEY DISEASE

Anyone can get kidney disease, but some people are at higher risk than others. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or both, you are at high risk for kidney disease. Diabetes is the number one cause and high blood pressure is the number two cause of kidney disease.

Other risk factors for kidney disease

  • Heart disease
  • Being African American, Latino, Asian, or Native American
  • If someone in your family has or died from kidney disease
  • Over age 60
  • Obesity
  • Smoking

Even if you have any of these risk factors, you can prevent kidney disease. Follow these steps:

Know your blood sugar

More than 34 million Americans have diabetes. If you have diabetes, you may already know that diabetes can cause blindness or losing a toe or a leg. It’s also important to know that diabetes causes kidney disease. In fact, almost half of all kidney failure cases are caused by diabetes.

 

Diabetes is serious because over time, it can make your kidneys stop working. If your kidneys stop working, you will need dialysis or a transplant to live.

 

If you have diabetes, you can prevent kidney disease by keeping your blood sugar under control and working with your doctor. Ask your doctor about new medicines that help people with diabetes prevent kidney disease.

 

Know more about the connection between diabetes and kidney disease.

Know your blood pressure

If you have high blood pressure, also called hypertension, you may already know that high blood pressure can cause you to have a heart attack or a stroke.

 

High blood pressure is known as a “silent killer” because many people don’t feel symptoms. Kidney disease is also known as a silent killer because kidney disease doesn’t have symptoms in the early stages.

 

You can’t feel the damage that high blood pressure is doing to your kidneys.

 

High blood pressure is serious because over time, it can make your kidneys stop working and you will need dialysis or a transplant to live.

 

If you have high blood pressure, you can prevent kidney disease by keeping your blood pressure under control and working with your doctor. Ask your doctor about how to get tested for kidney disease.

Know how to live healthier

Even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in preventing kidney disease.

Know how well your kidneys are working

Fully 9 out of 10 people with early kidney disease do not know they have it because there are no symptoms until the late stages. Because kidney disease in the early stages does not have any symptoms, the only way to know how well your kidneys are working is to get tested by your doctor.

 

Getting tested for kidney disease is important because doctors can find it in the early stages when you don’t feel it. If kidney disease is caught early, there are things you and your doctor can do to keep it from getting worse. Finding kidney disease early can keep you off dialysis or from needing a transplant. Finding kidney disease early can also prevent heart attack, stroke and death.

 

A simple blood test and a urine test will tell your doctor how well your kidneys are working and if you have any sign of kidney disease.

 

Ask your doctor to test you for kidney disease. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or if someone in your family has kidney disease or has died from it, it is even more important for you to be tested for kidney disease.

Fight kidney disease.

Live healthier lives.

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