Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

You have two kidneys located near the middle of your back, just under your rib cage.

The main job of the kidneys are to filter wastes and extra water from the blood to make urine. Wastes can build up in the body when the kidneys are damaged.

If you are at risk for kidney disease, there are important steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy.

Two tests to Check for Kidney Disease

Get your blood and get your urine checked for kidney disease.

  • A blood test checks your GFR, which tells how well your kidneys are filtering. GFR stands for glomerular (glow-MAIR-you-lure) filtration rate.
  • A urine test checks for albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein that can pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged.

Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, and Heart Disease

  • Manage your diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease if you have it. Keep your blood pressure below 130/80. That means eating healthy and cutting back on salt. It also means being active and taking medicines as prescribed.
  • Diabetes and high blood pressure are the two main causes of kidney disease. About 7 out of 10 people with kidney failure have one or both of these conditions.

If tests show kidney disease, there are blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors and ARBs that you can take to protect your kidneys. These medicines can help your kidneys even if you don’t have high blood pressure.

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