Kidney Disease Prevention
Safeguarding kidney function is important to health and longevity. And the steps for doing so go hand in hand with other prudent wellness steps, most important of which are these:
- keep blood pressure within a healthy recommended range;
- avoid risk factors for diabetes such as obesity (and rigorously manage diabetes when it is present);
- and generally maintain good cardiovascular health (including, of course, avoiding smoking and keeping cholesterol at healthy levels).
Anyone interested in decreasing risk, or slowing progression, of kidney disease should also pay heed to these tips:
- Individuals with family history of kidney disease should understand the basis for their family members kidney problems and take any preventive steps possible.
- Make good lifestyle choices, including maintaining healthy diet and getting a good level of weekly exercise.
- Everyone should have annual physicals (or regular physicals, according the recommendations for your age group) so that his or her doctor can spot hypertension early and monitor blood indicators and other tell-tale signs of possible kidney problems.
- Being alert for bladder or urinary tract infections and treating them early can also decrease lifetime risk of kidney deficiencies.
- Alcohol abuse and illicit drug use also raise risk for kidney problems.
- Because of the sensitivity of the compromised or at-risk kidney, patients with potential kidney problems should also be cautious about taking large doses of medications such as antibiotics or certain analgesics (pain killers) for long periods of time.
- Some ethnic groups are at greater risk for kidney disease. Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans and especially African Americans are more like to develop kidney disease and should be especially conscious of preventive steps.