33% of American adults are at risk for kidney disease. Anyone can get kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to get it.
These are the five leading risk factors of kidney disease:
- Diabetes (you or your family)
- High blood pressure (you or your family)
- Heart disease (you or your family)
- Family history of kidney failure, diabetes, or high blood pressure
Other important risk factors for kidney disease:
- Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian American, American Indian, or Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander heritage
- Age 60 or older
- Low birth weight
- Prolonged use of NSAIDs, a type of painkillers, such as ibuprofen and naproxen
- Lupus, other autoimmune disorders
- Chronic urinary tract infections
- Kidney stones
Knowing if you are at risk for kidney disease is the first step toward leading a healthier life.
The key is to find kidney disease as early as possible and understand its risk factors before the trouble starts. Regular testing for everyone is essential and is especially important for people at risk.
The National Kidney Foundation offers a Kidney Risk Quiz to determine if you are at risk for developing kidney disease.
What can I do to prevent kidney disease?
Not everyone with diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, older age, or a family history of kidney failure will get it. But if you have any of these risk factors, you should:
Get tested for kidney disease
There are two simple tests for kidney disease:
- A simple urine test checks to see if you have protein in your urine. Your body needs protein. But it should be in the blood, not the urine. Having a small amount of protein in your urine may mean that your kidneys are not filtering your blood well enough. This can be an early sign of kidney disease.
- Your doctor can order a simple blood test for GFR, which stands for glomerular filtration rate. Your GFR number tells you how well your kidneys are working. The lab estimates your GFR using a simple blood test called creatinine (a waste product), along with your age, race, and gender.
Finally, get tested for diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease; Live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise, eat a healthy diet, lose weight if needed, avoid smoking, and limit alcohol. A healthy lifestyle can keep you from getting kidney disease, and it can also help slow down the progression of kidney disease if you have it.
At FKP, we are here to help you and provide you with kidney care excellence. If you are at risk of kidney disease, you can request an appointment online.