The New Year and Your Health
As the fall turns to winter and the New Year begins, people often reflect on what changes or resolutions they want to make in their lives. Some of these changes may involve eating healthier foods or incorporating more exercise into a daily routine. In thinking about your goals, try to also think about the things we should be doing yearly, in addition to daily, weekly or monthly. Sometimes it can be easy to push some of these annual goals to the back of our mental filing cabinet. Instead, in 2011, challenge yourself to think about the entire spectrum of health, from your day–to–day habits to the bigger picture of your overall health goals!
Did you know that it’s important to get your kidney function tested once a year if you are at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD)? KEEP participants are eligible to attend a free kidney health screening once a year to monitor kidney function. Since kidney function can decrease with age and the symptoms are often silent, it’s important to follow up with a doctor each year even if your previous KEEP test results were within the normal range. Please click here to access our calendar of upcoming KEEP events. This calendar changes as programs are updated and added to the schedule. If you would like additional information about upcoming screening events, please contact your local NKF office.
Even if you are not able to attend a KEEP event, you should still get your kidneys tested each year. There are 3 simple tests for checking the kidneys that you should discuss with your doctor. These tests are as follows:
- Blood pressure measurement
- A urine test to find out if there is protein in the urine and if so, how much. Protein in the urine is abnormal and may be a sign of kidney damage. A single positive test result could be due to a fever or heavy exercise, so your doctor will want to confirm your test results over several weeks.
- A blood test for creatinine. The result of this test, along with your age, gender, and body size is used to calculate your GFR. Your GFR is the best indicator for kidney function.
For additional information about these three tests, please click here.