Your kidneys are vital to your body’s functionality. They work non-stop to filter blood. Over time, it is common for our kidneys’ functionality to decrease as we age. But some people experience severe kidney problems, like chronic kidney disease. And if left untreated, this can lead to major health problems like stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, or even death.
Who is at risk for chronic kidney disease?
There are several factors which can put you at increased risk for kidney problems. These include:
- Family history of kidney disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Having African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, or Pacific Islander heritage
- Being overweight
- Being over the age of 60
Additionally, people who regularly use painkillers like ibuprofen or have had chronic kidney stones could be at a higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease.
How do you know if you have chronic kidney disease?
Your doctor can run certain lab tests to find out the health of your kidneys. If you are at high risk or have been experiencing symptoms like
- Unusual weight loss
- Blood in your urine
- Shortness of breath,
see your doctor immediately so that you can be diagnosed and receive appropriate treatment.
How can you prevent chronic kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are simple things you can do now to help prevent kidney disease and contribute to an overall healthy lifestyle.
- Stay active and get regular exercise
- Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight
- Don’t smoke
- Maintain health cholesterol levels
- Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. Some blood pressure medications have been shown to protect the kidneys
It is important that we take care of our kidneys and keep them healthy so that they can do their job well. Living a healthy lifestyle and notifying your doctor of any concerning symptoms immediately can help ensure that you stay healthy.