Expert-reviewed by Ashwini S.Kanade, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator with 17 years of experience.
Healthy kidneys efficiently filter the waste from your blood. As you grow older, there may be some inconsequential decrease in the kidney function. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition in which there is a gradual loss of kidney function over a period of many years. Your kidneys don’t work as well as they should.
If not treated, the lasting damage to your kidneys can get worse over time and eventually, the kidney functions deteriorate over few years. The most common cause of this damage is longstanding uncontrolled high blood sugar.
CKD is much more common than people realize. In most cases, the complications are not spotted until the kidney function significantly deteriorates. But fortunately, the condition is preventable. If you already have CKD, you can take steps to prevent the complications.
Eliminate the risk factors
Diabetes and hypertension are major factors that could develop into CKD, but can also be prevented. Lifestyle modifications like making healthy food choices, limiting your salt intake, maintaining a healthy weight, controlling your cholesterol levels, etc. can reduce your chances of getting diabetes and hypertension, and in turn decrease the risk of CKD.
Manage underlying conditions
Keep your blood sugar and blood pressure within the target range. Uncontrolled blood sugar is the most important factor for developing CKD, and if you also have high blood pressure, it adds to the risk. Managing these conditions efficiently is the best way to prevent kidney disease. Keeping the blood sugar and blood pressure levels close to your goal can significantly reduce your risk of developing kidney disease, and its progression as well.
Keep yourself physically active
Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Exercise regularly. It can help reduce your risk of developing kidney disease by keeping your weight under check and also helping lower your blood pressure.
Here are some safe exercising tips you must follow.
Kick the butt. Smoking is a well-known risk factor for many diseases. It has a harmful effect on your kidneys too and is a risk factor for the development and progression of CKD. Studies have shown that smoking causes kidney deterioration in people with diabetes and high blood pressure.(1,2)
Limit your alcohol intake
Cut down on alcohol. Moderate drinking may not be harmful, but heavy drinking has been associated with CKD.(2) Moreover; alcohol consumption is a risk factor for high blood pressure.
Keep track of the medicines you take
Don’t use over-the-counter pain medications regularly as they can damage your kidneys. Long-term use of NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) painkillers such as ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. is linked to an increased risk for speedy progression of CKD.(3,4)
Don’t miss the regular check-ups
Usually, the signs and symptoms are not noticeable in early stages of CKD. They start to show up only when the condition has advanced to an irreversible stage. Getting your kidneys checked every year can help detect kidney damage. So keep up that appointment with your doctor. If detected early and treated, kidney disease can often be slowed and stopped from failing. If you have high blood pressure, your doctor may prescribe specific anti-hypertensive drugs which may have beneficial effects against CKD. Your doctor will also educate you about avoiding the drugs that can harm your kidneys.
Disclaimer: The information we share is verified by experts and scientifically validated. However, it is not a replacement for a doctor’s advice. Please always check with your doctor before trying anything suggested on this website.
- Yacoub R, Habib H, Lahdo A, et al. Association between smoking and chronic kidney disease: a case control study. BMC Public Health. 2010;10:731. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-10-731.
- Anoop Shankar, Ronald Klein, Barbara E. K. Klein; The Association among Smoking, Heavy Drinking, and Chronic Kidney Disease, American Journal of Epidemiology, Volume 164, Issue 3, 1 August 2006, Pages 263–271, https://doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwj173
- Gooch K, Culleton BF, Manns BJ, Zhang J, Alfonso H, Tonelli M, Frank C, Klarenbach S, Hemmelgarn BR. NSAID use and progression of chronic kidney disease. Am J Med. 2007 Mar;120(3):280.e1-7. PubMed PMID: 17349452.
- Plantinga L, Grubbs V, Sarkar U, et al. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Use Among Persons With Chronic Kidney Disease in the United States. Annals of Family Medicine. 2011;9(5):423-430. doi:10.1370/afm.1302