You are at high risk for kidney disease if you have:
You are also at risk if you are:
If you have any of these risk factors, you need to get checked for kidney disease.
In Texas and the U.S., diabetes is the number one cause of kidney disease and kidney failure. Diabetes damages the small blood vessels of the kidneys, making it difficult for the kidneys to filter out waste and extra fluid from the body. When waste and extra fluid build up in the body, it can lead to many urgent problems, including heart failure, inability to fight off infections, fluid buildup in the lungs, anemia, nerve damage, weakened bones that can easily break, and kidney failure. If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to control it and reduce your risk of kidney disease.
High blood pressure and kidney disease are said to go hand in hand because they often occur together. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is the second leading cause of kidney disease in the U.S. and in Texas. High blood pressure damages the small blood vessels in the kidneys, making it hard for them to filter out harmful waste products and extra fluids. As the kidneys lose their ability to clean the blood, toxins build up in the body, causing life-threatening harm to many organs. High blood pressure can also be a result of having kidney disease. As the kidneys struggle to do their job, more pressure is put on the body’s blood vessels, significantly raising blood pressure. By the time they reach kidney failure, almost all patients also have high blood pressure. Work with your doctor to keep your blood pressure at or below the target set by your doctor.
Heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases greatly increase the risk of kidney damage. Diseases that affect the kidneys can also damage your heart. That’s why many doctors consider the heart and kidneys to be one connected system. Heart disease and kidney disease share many lifestyle risk factors and clinical signs. If you have heart disease, get checked for kidney disease. And if you have kidney disease, make sure you are checked for heart disease. Prevent, manage, and treat together. Love your heart. Love your kidneys.
If you have one or more family members who have kidney disease, are on dialysis (machine treatment to help kidneys work), or have had a kidney transplant, you are at higher risk for kidney disease. Be aware of your family history and share it with your doctor.
If you have any of these risk factors, talk to your doctor about getting checked for kidney disease and the steps you should take to protect your kidneys.