Protect Your Kidneys: Control Diabetes, Blood Pressure
March is World Kidney month, a day dedicated to raising awareness of kidney disease and the importance of its prevention and early detection.
Kidney disease damages your kidneys, preventing them from cleaning your blood as well as they should.
This damage can cause wastes to build up in your body and lead to other health problems, including heart disease, anemia, and bone disease.
Chronic kidney disease eventually can cause kidney failure if it is not treated.
If you do have the disease, it’s important to be diagnosed early. Treatment can slow down the disease, and prevent or delay kidney failure. Because chronic kidney disease often develops slowly and with few symptoms, many people with the condition don’t realize they’re sick until the disease is advanced and requires dialysis. Blood and urine tests are the only ways to tell if you have chronic kidney disease.
Tips for Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy
Steps to help keep your kidneys healthy include the following:
· Keep blood pressure below 130/80 mm/Hg.
· Stay in your target cholesterol range.
· Eat less salt and salt substitutes.
· Eat healthy foods.
· Stay physically active.
· Take your medications as prescribed.
If you have diabetes, take these steps, too:
· Meet blood sugar targets as often as you can.
· Have an A1c test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. An A1c test measures the average level of blood sugar over the past three months.
If your blood pressure is high, check it regularly and get it under control to make sure your kidneys remain healthy. Talk to your doctor about medicines to lower your blood pressure.
Helping to prevent type 2 diabetes is another important step in preventing kidney disease. Recent studies have shown that overweight people at higher risk for type 2 diabetes can prevent or delay the onset of the disease by losing 5 to 7 percent of their body weight, or 10 to 14 pounds for a 200-pound person. You can do that by eating healthier and getting 150 minutes of physical activity each week
Who Is More Likely to Develop Kidney Disease?
In addition to diabetes and high blood pressure, other conditions that increase the risk of kidney disease include heart disease, obesity, older age, high cholesterol, and a family history of chronic kidney disease. A physical injury can also cause kidney disease.
Kidney disease is the eighth leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for the death of more than 50,000 people in 2010. More than 20 million (greater than 10 percent) of U.S. adults have chronic kidney disease and most of them are not aware of their condition .
More than 35 percent of adults with diabetes have chronic kidney disease. High blood sugar (blood glucose) and high blood pressure increase the risk that chronic kidney disease will eventually lead to kidney failure. If you have diabetes, controlling blood sugar and blood pressure reduces the risk of developing kidney disease or may slow its progression .
Injuries and Infections Can Damage Your Kidneys
Infections such as those affecting the bladder and kidney can damage your kidneys, too . Call your health care provider if you have any of these signs of bladder infection:
· Cloudy or bloody urine
· Pain or burning when you urinate
· An urgent need to urinate often
Also, speak with your health care provider if you have any of these signs of kidney infections:
· Back pain
Chronic Kidney Disease Could Lead to Dialysis or a Transplant
The final stage of chronic kidney disease is kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease. People with kidney failure need dialysis, in which blood is cleaned through a machine, or a new, healthy kidney through transplantation.
In 2009, more than 110,000 people in the United States began treatment for kidney failure. For every ten new cases, seven had diabetes or hypertension listed as the primary cause. In that same year, more than 560,000 people in the United States were living on chronic dialysis or with a kidney transplant. Among people on hemodialysis due to kidney failure, the leading causes of hospitalization are cardiovascular disease and infection .
Take steps to keep your kidneys healthy. If you have a higher risk of kidney disease, talk to your doctor about getting tested.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as possible. This damage can cause wastes to build up in the body and lead to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease (CVD), anemia, and bone disease. People with early CKD tend not to feel any symptoms. The only ways to detect CKD are through a blood test to estimate kidney function, and a urine test to assess kidney damage. CKD is usually an irreversible and progressive disease and can lead to kidney failure, also called End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD), over time if it is not treated. Once detected, CKD can be treated through medication and lifestyle changes to slow down the disease progression, and to prevent or delay the onset of kidney failure. However, the only treatment options for kidney failure are dialysis or a kidney transplant.
CKD is common among adults in the United States.
More than 10% of people, or more than 20 million, aged 20 years or older in the United States have CKD.
· CKD is more common among women than men.
· More than 35% of people aged 20 years or older with diabetes have CKD.
· More than 20% of people aged 20 years or older with hypertension have CKD.
Percent with CKD among adult U.S. population by age, sex, and race/ethnicity.
Risk factors for developing CKD
Adults with diabetes or hypertension are at an increased risk of developing CKD. Other risk factors for developing CKD include CVD, obesity, elevated cholesterol, and a family history of CKD. The risk of developing CKD increases with age largely because risk factors for kidney disease become more common as one ages.
Risk factors for progression of CKD
Inadequately controlled diabetes and hypertension increase the risk of progression of CKD to kidney failure. Repeated episodes of acute kidney injury from a variety of causes (e.g., infections, drugs, or toxins injurious to the kidney) can also contribute to progression of CKD to kidney failure, especially in the elderly. While CKD is more common among women, men with CKD are 50% more likely than women to progress to kidney failure.
Important health consequences of CKD
CKD is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks, heart failure, heart rhythm disturbances, and strokes. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease that require careful attention in people with CKD include tobacco use, uncontrolled high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, excessive weight, and elevated cholesterol.
Kidney failure or ESRD occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to provide waste removal functions for the body. At this point, dialysis or kidney transplantation becomes necessary for survival.
· About 110,000 patients in the United States started treatment for ESRD in 2007.
· Leading causes of ESRD are diabetes and hypertension. In 2006, 7 out of 10 new cases of ESRD in the United States had diabetes or hypertension listed as the primary cause. Less common causes include glomerulonephritis, hereditary kidney disease, and malignancies such as myeloma.
· Incidence of ESRD is greater among adults older than 65 years.
· African Americans were nearly four times more likely to develop ESRD than whites in 2007. However, this disparity in ESRD incidence has narrowed from 1998 to 2005.
· Hispanics have 1.5 times the rate of kidney failure compared to non-Hispanic whites.
· Between 2000 and 2007, the adjusted incidence of ESRD due to diabetes has increased by less than 1% and the adjusted incidence of glomerulonephritis has fallen by 21%, suggesting possible improvement in the clinical management of this condition. In contrast, the adjusted incidence of ESRD due to hypertension has increased by 8% between 2000 and 2007.
· Premature death from both cardiovascular disease and from all causes is higher in adults with CKD compared to adults without CKD. In fact, individuals with CKD are 16 to 40 times more likely to die than to reach ESRD.
Other health consequences
· The kidneys have many functional roles, including fluid and electrolyte balance, waste removal, acid-base balance, bone health, and stimulation of red blood cell production. CKD can be associated with fluid overload, sodium and potassium imbalances, bone and mineral disorders, anemia, and reduced quality of life. Additionally, adults with CKD typically have other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases
Information from the CDC and WebMD