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Kidney diseases are silent killers. There are several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.
- Keep active: Keeping fit helps to reduce the blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of chronic kidney Disease.
- Keep fasting sugar < 80 mg%: Nearly half of people who have diabetes develop kidney damage. Kidney damage due to diabetes can be reduced or prevented if detected early.
- Keep lower BP < 80 mm Hg: High blood pressure is a common cause of kidney damage. High blood pressure can cause kidney damage when associated with other factors such as diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
- Keep your abdominal circumference < 80 cm: Eat healthy and keep your weight in check. This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with chronic kidney disease. Reduce your salt intake. The recommended sodium intake is 5-6 grams of salt per day (about a teaspoon). Limit the intake of processed and restaurant food and avoid adding salt to your food.
- Drink adequate fluids: Drink 1.5 to 2 litres (3 to 4 pints) of water per day. Intake of adequate amount of fluid helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which leads to a significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease. One should not advocate aggressive fluid loading, as it can have side effects. People who have already suffered a kidney stone must drink 2 to 3 litres of water a day to decrease the risk of forming a new stone.
- Do not smoke: It slows the flow of blood to the kidneys. Smoking tends to increase the risk of kidney cancer by about 50%.
- Do not take over-the-counter pain killers: Common drugs such non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are known to cause kidney damage if taken regularly.
- If you have a kidney disease, ask your doctor for ACE inhibitors.
- Know your eGFR = 140 – age x body weight (in kg)/72 × serum creatinine (x 0.85 if female)
- Keep your LDL levels < 80 mg%.