Chronic kidney disease cannot always be prevented but there are things that we can do to reduce your risk of developing it:
Monitoring conditions – if you have a condition that places you at increased risk of developing CKD, you should have periodic tests to check for signs of kidney damage. We do this because if you do develop CKD, it allows us to recognise this early so we can do something about it as soon as possible. Please refer to the ‘What causes Chronic Kidney Disease?’ section above to remind yourself what conditions place you at increased risk of CKD.
Control blood pressure – high blood pressure can damage your kidneys. Various lifestyles changes like reducing salt intake, regular exercise and losing weight can all help reduce blood pressure. If this isn’t enough, then starting medications may help. For more information, please click here.
Manage blood sugar – this is particularly important if you are diabetic, as high blood sugar levels can damage your kidneys too. Blood sugar levels can be controlled by exercise and dietary changes, which can be read about here. If this fails to control your sugar levels, then introducing medication or altering your current medication may be needed.
Stop smoking – smoking increases your risk of CKD so stopping will help reduce this risk and improve your overall health. Please follow this link here for advice on how to stop smoking.
Eat a healthy diet – eating a healthy and balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy blood pressure and cholesterol level, which if high increases your risk of developing CKD. Guidance on what constitutes a balanced diet can be found here.
Restrict alcohol intake – excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure and cholesterol levels which increases your risk of CKD. Both men and women should not drink more than 14 units each week, spread over at least 3 days.
Regular exercise – at least 2 and a half hours of moderate-intensity activity split over each week can reduce blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce your risk of developing kidney disease. Read more about exercise here.
Be careful with painkillers – kidneys can be damaged by taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen. Please read the instructions before taking these medications for further information.