Chronic Kidney Disease
What is CKD?
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a condition that results in damage your kidneys and decreases their ability to keep you healthy. Healthy kidneys filter waste products from your body. If you have CKD, wastes can build up in your blood and can make you sick. You may develop problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, and/or blood vessel disease. CKD may happen slowly over a long period of time.
Detecting and treating CKD early can often keep it from getting worse. It can also decrease your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and other complications. High blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes are the most common causes of CKD, High blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes also put you at higher risk of heart attack and stroke. It is very important to treat and control all of these conditions.
Talk to your doctor to find out which medicines to prevent heart attack and stroke might be right for you. Some of these drugs may affect the kidneys, but they do such a good job of preventing heart attacks and strokes that you and your doctor may decide they are worth the risk. Your doctor may suggest some lab tests to be sure that these medicines are working well for you. You may need additional labs tests throughout your treatment. Your doctor may order these to make sure you are not developing side effects that will affect your kidney function.
Along with medications, some lifestyle choices will help to decrease your risk of heart attacks and/or strokes. These same lifestyle choices which help prevent heart attacks and strokes can also help you to control your cholesterol, lower your blood pressure, and manage your diabetes. All of these efforts help your kidneys. It is important to:
• Quit smoking if you smoke
• Choose a variety of nutritious foods low in fat and salt
• Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days
• Keep your weight at a healthy level
Your doctor may recommend other lifestyle changes that are right for you.