Keeping Your Kidneys Healthy

In most cases, supporting your kidney health and protecting your remaining kidney function depend on managing other medical conditions you may have, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and learning more about kidney disease.

Learn to manage your other medical conditions

One of the most important ways to preserve your kidney function is to gain control over other medical conditions you may have. Blood pressure control is one of the most effective ways of slowing the progression of kidney disease.  High blood pressure can cause the filters in your kidneys to become scarred and lead to a decrease in kidney function. It is important to control your blood sugar if you have diabetes.  High blood sugar clogs all blood vessels including the filters of the kidney, which causes decreased kidney function.

Maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle

If you are overweight, losing even a small amount of weight can help you control your blood pressure and blood sugar. People with kidney disease who are underweight are at a higher risk of malnutrition, which can affect your energy level and how well you fight off infections.

Where you carry your weight is as important as how much weight you carry. If you are more “apple” shaped and carry fat stored around your middle, you are at greater risk for Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a healthy weight is a big challenge for many people. Eating a well-balanced diet and staying physically active can help.

If you smoke, try to quit.  Smoking increases your risk of heart attack, stroke, lung disease, kidney disease and cancer.  Smoking can be particularly harmful if you have kidney disease, and can increase the risk of progression to end-stage kidney disease.