Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is the deterioration of kidney function over time. When kidney function declines, the body can no longer filter waste products from the blood effectively.
CKD affects individuals of all ages. Common risk factors include high blood pressure (hypertension), diabetes, heart failure, and family history. There is no cure for chronic kidney disease – it must be managed with treatments like dialysis and kidney transplant.
But the good news is that early detection of chronic kidney disease can keep it from getting worse, leading to a better quality of life for patients. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
Test for CKD early and often
One of the challenges of detecting CKD early on is that the disease begins with no noticeable symptoms. You won’t feel kidney damage in your body until extensive and often irreversible damage has occurred. That’s why it’s important for individuals with CKD risk factors to be tested regularly. These tests will look at:
- Your blood pressure
- The amount of protein in your urine
- The amount of waste products in your blood
Your doctor will assess these results to recommend an appropriate course of action.
Attend your annual well check
In order for your doctor to monitor you for CKD, it’s important to keep up with your annual wellness checks. These appointments are a great time to talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about CKD. Your doctor is also a great partner in helping you to manage your risk factors to reduce the likelihood of kidney failure.
Reduce your CKD risk factors
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is one of the best ways to manage the risk factors associated with CKD, such as high blood pressure and Type II diabetes. Consistent exercise and healthy eating can reduce your chances of developing or accelerating existing obesity, diabetes, and hypertension – three CKD risk factors that are interconnected.
It’s also important to take any medications your doctor prescribes for diabetes and hypertension as directed.
At the Nephrology Associates of Cincinnati, we’re passionate about detecting CKD early so our patients can live longer, fuller lives. Talk to your doctor about a personalized plan for preventing CKD.