Kidneys are essential for our health.

  • They remove excess water and toxins, regulate blood pressure, make red blood cells and keep bones strong.
  • The kidneys are normally very efficient and it can be a long time before there are signs that something is wrong.
  • When kidneys are damaged or lose function over time, this is known as chronic kidney disease (CKD).
  • Depending on the problem, early diagnosis and treatment can help slow down any further damage to the kidneys.

Although anyone can develop kidney disease there are a few things that can increase your risk :

Diabetes, High blood pressure, Cardiovascular disease
Family history of kidney disease
South Asian or African-Caribbean ethnic background

There are several easy ways to reduce the risk and small changes in behaviour and lifestyle can have enormous health benefits.

Monitor your blood pressure - High blood pressure accelerates kidney damage. To protect yourself from kidney disease you should also maintain a diet low in salt and saturated fats.

Keep fit and active - This helps reduce your blood pressure and therefore reduces the risk of kidney disease.

Don’t smoke - Smoking slows blood flow to the kidneys, deceasing their ability to function properly.

Eat healthily and keep your weight in check - This can help prevent diabetes, heart disease and other conditions associated with kidney disease.

Get your kidney function checked - If anyone in your family has suffered from kidney disease, you are diabetic or have high blood pressure or if you are of South Asian or Affrican-Caribbean ethnic background.

Keep well hydrated - This helps the kidneys clear sodium, urea and toxins from the body which can significantly lower risk of developing chronic kidney disease*.

*Dialysis patients need to restrict their fluid intake.

Further information can be requested from the
National Kidney Federation Helpline
on 0800 169 0936