Kidney disease is often a silent killer, yet it’s more common than breast and prostate cancer. Sadly, people don’t realize they have it until the damage has already been done. Kidneys are like filters that remove toxins from your blood, so as you age, it’s normal for them to weaken – this can lead to kidney disease when combined with other factors such as diabetes or high cholesterol levels in your bloodstream. Early detection through awareness and screening saves lives.
It is important to keep track of your kidney health in order to prevent a serious illness. Annual screening with simple urine albumin tests and blood work for seniors, as well as those at high risk such as diabetes or high blood pressure will help you maintain healthy kidneys.
Common risk factors:
- High blood pressure
- A family history of kidney failure
- Older age.
Keeping your kidneys healthy
There are a number of things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy, including:
- If you have diabetes, make sure that your blood sugar control is excellent. Follow your doctor’s advice about insulin injections, medicines, diet, physical activity and monitoring your blood sugar.
- Control high blood pressure. Have your blood pressure checked regularly. Medications used to lower blood pressure (anti-hypertensive medications), such as ACE inhibitors or angiotensin blockers, can slow the development of kidney disease.
- If you have one of the risk factors for kidney disease, have a kidney health check (blood test, urine test and blood pressure check) at least every two years (every year if you have diabetes or high blood pressure).
- Treat urinary tract infections immediately.
- Control blood cholesterol levels with diet and medications if necessary.
- Drink plenty of water and choose foods that are low in sugar, fat and salt, but high in fibre. Stick to moderate serving sizes.
- Do not smoke.
- Drink alcohol in moderation only.
- Stay at a healthy weight for your height and age.
- Try to exercise moderately for at least 30 minutes a day.
Kidney Disease Facts:
- The National Kidney Foundation recommends annual kidney disease screening for anyone over the age of 60.
- Risk factors for kidney disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney stones, a family history of kidney failure, prolonged use of over-the-counter pain medications, and being over the age of 60.
- More than 37 Million Americans – 1 in 7 adults- have chronic kidney disease and most don’t know it.
- Of the over 120,000 Americans on the national organ transplant waitlist, more than 98,000 await a life-saving kidney.
The Michigan Institute of Urology is one of the longest-standing and largest sub-specialty Urology practices in the State of Michigan, we are dedicated to providing our patients the most up-to-date, state-of-the-art urologic care. Our specialists have been recruited from the most sophisticated university centers in the United States and are available at all of our 22 office locations. Our administrative staff follows strict guidelines to ensure the most cost-effective medical care is provided. Michigan Institute of Urology, P.C., is compromised of 46 General and Fellowship Trained Urologists with a complement of compassionate, caring Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Medical Assistants, and Ancillary Personnel.