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

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