Reducing Your Risk Of Chronic Kidney Disease Is Easier Than You Might Think

New York, NY
February 6, 2006

(New York, NY) – February 6, 2005 -- If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney disease, you're at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). But the news isn't all bad. Preventing CKD is not as difficult as you might think.

March is National Kidney Month and here are some prevention tips from the National Kidney Foundation:

  • Find out your family’s health history if you don’t already know it. Research whether or not anyone in your family has CKD, diabetes, high blood pressure (hypertension), coronary heart disease or protein or blood in the urine, and let your physician know.
  • Visit your doctor for regular checkups for the above diseases and request blood and urine tests to check for CKD. One vital CKD blood test is a check for your glomerular filtration rate (GFR), a test that can see how well your kidneys are filtering wastes.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions to keep hypertension and diabetes in control.
  • Keep your weight in check. Being overweight can increase your chances of developing diabetes, heart disease and other problems and is also associated with CKD. Follow a balanced diet recommended by your doctor.
  • Start exercising by walking for 30 minutes at least three times a week. Exercise helps control weight and can alleviate hypertension. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
  • Limit salt intake to control high blood pressure.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking can contribute to a host of health problems including lung cancer, heart disease and hypertension, as well as contribute to kidney deterioration.
  • Avoid taking large amounts of painkillers, especially drugs containing a combination of caffeine, acetaminophen and aspirin. Combination agents such as these are associated with an increased risk of kidney disease. It has been observed that a daily dose of eight to ten tablets or capsules of acetaminophen alone can damage the kidneys over a five-year period. Studies in humans and animals suggest that combination agents can cause damage in even less time. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs containing ibuprofen as well as those containing naproxen sodium can also harm the kidneys, but only if the kidneys are already under stress. Dehydration from, for example, overexertion, can stress the kidneys. If you stay hydrated, these drugs generally are safe for the kidneys.
  • Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages. Alcohol can both cause and worsen hypertension.

African Americans, Hispanics, Asian and Pacific Islanders are at increased risk for chronic kidney disease. To learn more about risk factors, prevention and treatment contact the National Kidney Foundation at (800)622-9010 or log on to www.kidney.org.