Your Kidneys: Do You Know These Facts?

1. Kidneys are important because they:

  • Filter blood
  • Keep the right amount of fluids in the body
  • Help make red blood cells
  • Help keep blood pressure under control

2. Risk factors for kidney disease include:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Being 60 years or older
  • Having a family member with kidney disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure
  • Being African American/Black, Hispanic, Asian, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaska Native

How is your kidney health?

Use our online curriculum to get individualized information for your stage of kidney disease.

3. Over time, kidney disease can:

  • Get worse
  • Lead to kidney failure
  • Cause heart and blood vessel disease
  • Cause other health problems

4. People with risk factors should get tested regularly because:

  • In the early stages of kidney disease, most people don’t have symptoms
  • Kidney disease can be treated

5. Tests to find kidney disease include:

  • A simple urine test called ACR (albumin-to-creatinine ratio).  Having protein in the urine is a sign of kidney disease.
  • A simple blood test to estimate your GFR (glomerular filtration rate). GFR is the best way to tell how well your kidneys are working.

6. Some ways to protect kidneys are:

  • Keep blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control
  • Lose weight, if needed
  • Eat healthy meals
  • Take all medicines as prescribed
  • Get regular exercise
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol
  • Avoid some over-the-counter medicines (such as aspirin, naxoproxin, or ibuprofen) because they can harm kidneys