Tips to prevent Kidney Failure

By  , Expert Content
Jun 19, 2012

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Chronic kidney disease cannot be cured, but with appropriate care and treatment, progression of kidney disease to kidney failure can be prevented. The following measures can prevent or slow further damage to your kidneys.

Control the underlying cause of kidney damage: This is one of the most important aspects of treatment of kidney disease. Treating the cause of kidney damage can help to slow more damage to your kidneys.

  • Diabetes: Diabetes has become a major cause of kidney disease and kidney failure. Good control of your blood sugar levels with diet, exercise and medicines can prevent further damage to the kidneys.
  • Hypertension: This is another leading cause of kidney damage and kidney disease. Appropriate control of high blood pressure with diet, exercise and any medicines your doctor prescribes can prevent further damage to the kidneys. In kidney disease, the aim is to maintain blood pressure less than 130/80.
  • Other conditions or diseases: If you have or are at a risk of kidney disease because of blockage (obstruction) in the urinary tract or long-term use of medicines that can damage the kidneys, regular monitoring of kidney function becomes important. This can help to diagnose and treat kidney disease before irreversible damage has occurred.

Take your medications: If you are prescribed a medication such as an ACE inhibitor or an angiotensin II receptor blocker (ARB) for blood pressure control or to protect your kidneys, take it regularly. These medicines have been shown to reduce protein in the urine and slow progression of kidney damage in addition to lowering high blood pressure.

Avoid nephrotoxic drugs: Avoid use of medications such as lithium, calcineurin inhibitors and long-term regular use of painkillers including ibuprofen if possible as they can damage the kidney.

Adopt healthy lifestyle: Eat a diet that is healthy for your kidneys. When protein in the food is digested in the body, it creates waste products that your kidneys must filter from your blood. To reduce the work of your kidneys, protein must be reduced in the diet. A dietician can recommend a healthy diet, which is low in protein. In addition to limiting protein, people with kidney disease may have to avoid excess salt and fluids. The dietician can make an individualised eating plan, which has the right amount of salt (sodium), fluids and protein.

Get screened regularly: People at high risk of kidney disease should follow up regularly with their doctor for annual screening. This can help to diagnose kidney disease when it is in the early stages before irreversible damage has occurred. Some factors that increase the risk of kidney disease include:

  • high blood pressure (hypertension) and diabetes (high blood sugar)
  • regular use of nephrotoxic drugs such as lithium, calcineurin inhibitors and long-term regular use of painkillers including ibuprofen (NSAIDs)
  • structural defect of renal tract or other problems in the kidney such as kidney stones
  • enlarged prostate, family history of CKD or an inherited kidney disease
  • diseases that may affect the kidneys such as systemic lupus erythematosus.




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