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Taking charge of your health and wellness can go a long way toward keeping your kidneys healthy.
Most people with kidney disease don’t have symptoms until the disease is advanced, when treatment is more difficult.
That’s why it’s important to have a yearly wellness exam. And tell your doctor about your family’s medical history, especially if someone close to you has kidney disease.
Catching kidney disease or any other long-term health problem early is vital to successful treatment. That’s why health tests and yearly exams matter.
If you have any of the risk factors for kidney disease, such as high blood pressure, heart disease or a family record of kidney failure, you should get a screening each year. A blood test will show how well your kidneys are filtering blood, and a urine test will show if there’s too much protein in your urine.
Lifestyle changes can help lower your risk for kidney disease.
Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease. About 1 in 3 adults with diabetes has kidney disease, says the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is also called chronic kidney disease (CKD) or diabetic nephropathy.
Having diabetes for a longer time raises the chances that you will have kidney damage. If the damage continues, your kidneys could fail. People with kidney failure need either dialysis or a kidney transplant.
If you have diabetes, two numbers are very important: blood sugar and blood pressure. You are more likely to get kidney disease if your blood sugar or blood pressure is too high.
You are also more likely to develop kidney disease if you have diabetes and:
If you have diabetes, visit your doctor at least yearly for a urine test that detects protein and a test to check the creatinine level in your blood. These tests help show how well the kidneys are working.
You can slow down kidney damage or keep it from getting worse. Start by working to control your blood sugar and blood pressure. Be sure to take your medicines and keep your doctor visits.
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