How to Avoid Problems from 'Silent Disease'
March 16, 2021
The kidneys perform crucial functions to help keep the body healthy. When the kidneys can no longer filter waste out of the blood, chronic kidney disease (CKD) develops.
However, there are ways to care for your kidneys to help reduce your risk of developing this serious condition.
Your Risk for CKD
“Kidney disease is a silent disease,” says Bassel Hadaya, MD, FACP, FASN, a board-certified nephrologist at Palmdale Regional.
This means that you do not always experience symptoms until the disease has progressed. However, you can learn about your risk for kidney disease.
A personal or family history of kidney disease puts you in the high-risk category for CKD. The following other medical issues can also elevate your risk:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Kidney infections
- Physical kidney injury
Research shows that about one in three American adults with diabetes may have CKD. In addition, one in five adults with high blood pressure may have CKD.
Lower Your Risk
Fortunately, there are many ways to protect yourself against kidney disease. Research shows that keeping blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg can help, but talk with your doctor to determine the best blood pressure target for you.
If you have diabetes, stay in your target blood sugar range as much as possible. If you are overweight, discuss a diet and exercise routine with your doctor to help you lose weight.
When it comes to diet, choose foods that are low in cholesterol. It is particularly important to limit your salt, or sodium, intake. It is recommended that you consume fewer than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day. Eating more fruits and vegetables can also help improve your kidney health.
Do you take medications? There are some medicines, even over-the-counter drugs, that may harm the kidneys. Be sure to follow your doctor’s directions.
Kidney Disease Testing
“Kidney disease can easily be detected by routine labs and a doctor visit, says Dr. Hadaya. “If caught early, it can prevent early onset of kidney failure or death.”
If you are at high risk for CKD, it is important to get regular check-ups with your doctor. If you have diabetes, make sure you are checked for CKD annually.
Your doctor can test your urine to check for a protein called albumin. This protein indicates that the kidneys are damaged. In addition, a glomerular filtration rate (GFR) test can check if your kidneys are properly filtering your blood.
Turn to Palmdale Regional
Your kidney health is essential to your overall health. If you are seeking kidney care in the Antelope Valley, we can help.