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6-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health

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6-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health

Kidney disease is a major public health concern. It often goes undetected until it is very advanced. Unfortunately, this is when someone would need dialysis or a transplant..

33% of adults in the United States are at risk for kidney disease. That’s 1 in 3 people.

The key is to find kidney disease before the trouble starts. Regular testing for everyone is important, but it is especially important for people at risk. March is National Kidney Month! Continue reading to ensure you are achieving the best kidney health possible.

Follow these 6 steps from the National Kidney Foundation to learn more about your risk, and how to prevent it.

Step 1: Know These Facts About Kidney Function

  • Regulate the body’s fluid levels

  • Filter wastes and toxins from the blood

  • Release a hormone that regulates blood pressure

  • Activate vitamin D to maintain healthy bones

  • Release the hormone that directs production of red blood cells

  • Keep blood minerals in balance (sodium, phosphorus, potassium)

Step 2: Assess Your Risk

5 Main Risk Factors for Kidney Disease include:

Additional Risk Factors:

  • Age 60 or older

  • Low birth weight

  • Prolonged use of NSAIDs, a type of painkillers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen

  • Lupus, other autoimmune disorders

  • Chronic urinary tract infections

  • Kidney stones

Knowing if you are at risk for kidney disease is the first step to a healthier life. We’ve made it easier than ever to know where you stand.

Take the Kidney Risk Quiz on to see if you are at risk for developing kidney disease. Just one minute could save your life – when was the last time 60 seconds had that much value?

Step 3: Recognize Symptoms

Most people with early kidney disease have no symptoms, which is why early detection is critical. By the time symptoms appear, kidney disease may be advanced, and symptoms can be misleading. Pay attention to these:

  • Fatigue, weakness

  • Difficult, painful urination

  • Foamy urine

  • Pink, dark urine (blood in urine)

  • Increased thirst

  • Increased need to urinate (especially at night)

  • Puffy eyes

  • Swollen face, hands, abdomen, ankles, feet

Step 4: Get Tested

If you or a loved one belong to a high-risk group, ask your primary-care provider about these tests.

  1. Blood Pressure (BP test)

    • High blood pressure can damage small blood vessels (glomeruli) in the kidneys. It is the second-leading cause of kidney failure after diabetes.

  2. Protein in Urine (urine test)

    • Traces of a type of protein, albumin, in the urine (albuminuria) may be an early sign of kidney disease. Regular amounts of albumin and other proteins in the urine (proteinuria) indicate kidney damage.

  3. Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) (blood test)

    • This measures how well the kidneys are filtering the blood. Doctors measure blood creatinine levels and perform a calculation to find out your glomerular filtration rate (GFR).

Step 5: Stay Healthy

6 Things People with Kidney Disease Should Do:

  • Lower high blood pressure

  • Manage blood sugar levels

  • Reduce salt intake

  • Avoid NSAIDs, a type of painkiller

  • Moderate protein consumption

  • Get an annual flu shot

9 Things Everyone Should Do:

  • Exercise regularly

  • Control weight

  • Follow a balanced diet

  • Quit smoking

  • Drink only in moderation

  • Stay hydrated

  • Monitor cholesterol levels

  • Get an annual physical

  • Know your family medical history

Step 6: Learn More

Navigating your kidney health does not have to be hard. Contact Campbell County Health Urology for more information regarding your kidney health and risk factors. Our dedicated team of experts are ready to provide you with the care that you deserve.

Visit our website: Urology Clinic in Gillette, Wyoming (

Appointments: 307.688.3636

Source: 6-Step Guide to Protecting Kidney Health | National Kidney Foundation

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