Keep your kidneys healthy

Kidneys are the unsung heroes of our bodies and don’t stop working until they have lost up to 90% of their function. Look after your kidneys and they will look after you!

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  1. Make sure you understand how your kidneys help to keep you healthy.
  2. If you have kidney disease, ‘know your numbers’: what stage of chronic kidney disease you are at, your levels (eGFR and creatinine) and what that means for you.
  3. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney damage so follow your healthcare team's advice if you have been diagnosed as diabetic.
  4. Look after your blood pressure (high blood pressure is a common cause of kidney damage).
  5. Have a non-smoking lifestyle (smoking slows the flow of blood to the kidneys).
  6. Aim for a healthy low salt diet (too much salt in your diet can raise your blood pressure).
  7. If you take regular medicine, find out what your medicines do, how they work and that some may damage your kidneys (for example, Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs like aspirin and ibuprofen can cause problems if taken very frequently).
  8. Remember that your kidneys need good fluid intake to work well, so drink plenty unless you’ve been told to restrict the amount of fluid you drink or eat. Your healthcare team will support you if you have been told you need to follow a fluid restriction diet.
  9. Make sure that your pharmacist knows if you have been diagnosed with kidney disease.
  10. Be aware of acute kidney injury (also known as AKI) and that you could be at risk if you have had an upset tummy, sickness and/or diarrhoea.