Kidney diseases are a leading cause of death in the U.S., with 1 in every 3 adults at risk. If your kidneys can’t filter blood as well as they should, this can lead to other health problems. Fluid buildup, heart disease, and stroke are a few of the complications of kidney disease. Taking an active role now can improve your overall well-being. Learning about and understanding your risk for kidney disease is one of the ways you can keep healthy overall.
KEEP Healthy Program and Prevention Tips
The good news is, it’s possible to prevent chronic kidney disease (CKD) through education, knowing your risk level, and how to keep your kidneys healthy. These three areas are the focus of the KEEP Healthy program led by the National Kidney Foundation. The community-based initiative is a free healthy check-up that includes:
- Risk Survey
- Body Mass Index (BMI): height and weight measurements
- Blood pressure check
- ACR urine test for albumin in individuals at risk only
- Opportunity to speak with a health care professional
The program also features free educational materials to help individuals better understand kidney health. Materials cover the basics of kidney function, what diseases affect it, and more. The KEEP Healthy program is an excellent opportunity for anyone looking for help getting started, whether insured or not.
Know Your Kidneys: Risks
CKD has no signs or symptoms in the early stages. Without treatment, chronic kidney disease can progress to kidney failure. The earlier treatments are started, the greater the chances of slowing disease progression or preventing it from developing. Hence, knowing the risk factors for kidney disease and what to do if you’re at risk can save your life.
Individuals at risk for kidney disease are likely those who have one or more of the following factors:
- High blood pressure
- Family history of kidney failure
- African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians
- Aged 60 and older
- Overweight or obese
Prevention through Monitoring and Healthier Choices
If you’re at risk, talk to your doctor ASAP. They can start regularly monitoring your kidney health and may have you follow a treatment plan. Like any chronic condition primarily driven by poor diets and sedentary lives, making healthier choices is vital to your overall health. Here are some suggestions that are effective for both prevention and for those individuals already diagnosed with CKD:
- Exercise regularly
- Eat a healthy, sensible diet that’s kidney-friendly
- Control weight
- Stay hydrated
- Reduce salt intake
- Keep chronic conditions managed
Did you know that if you have chronic kidney disease, participating in clinical research studies can help too? As a study volunteer, you can learn more about your condition and help advance care options for you and future patient generations. Clinical Pharmacology of Miami has several current and upcoming kidney disease studies looking into potential new options.
To learn more, call us today at (305) 817-2900, or visit our website.