March is National Kidney Month
March is National Kidney Month. Focus on kidney health. More than 20 million adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease, with an additional 400,000 people currently depending on dialysis to treat kidney failure, according to the U.S. Renal Data System.
Of the more than 80,000 people on the national waiting list for a kidney transplant, 35 percent are African-American and nearly 19 percent are Hispanic, although they make up only 13 percent and 16 percent of the U.S. population, respectively.
Learn About Kidney Disease
Diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular (heart or blood vessel) disease, and a family history of kidney failure are the key risk factors for chronic kidney disease. If you or a family member have any of these risk factors, it is important to learn about the basics of kidney disease and how to keep the kidneys healthier longer.
What you should know about kidney disease:
Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms.
Kidney disease usually does not go away.
Kidney disease can be treated. The earlier you know you have it, the better.
Blood and urine tests are used to check for kidney disease.
Kidney disease can progress to kidney failure
Tips to help keep your kidneys healthy:
Keep your blood pressure at the target set by your health care provider. This can delay or prevent kidney failure.
If you have diabetes, control your blood glucose level.
Keep your cholesterol levels in the target range.
Take medicines the way your provider tells you to. (Important! Certain blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors and ARBs may protect your kidneys. Ask your health care provider for more information.)
Cut back on salt. Aim for less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day.
Choose foods that are healthy for your heart: fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Be more physically active.
Lose weight if you are overweight.
If you smoke, take steps to quit. Cigarette smoking can make kidney damage worse.