Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a long-term condition where the kidneys do not work effectively. CKD does not usually cause symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. It is usually detected at earlier stages by blood and urine tests. Most of our patients with CKD will have had it diagnosed when having blood tests for another problem, for example diabetes or high blood pressure.
At Forest Health Group we invite all patients with CKD to attend the surgery for an annual health check. This can usually be done by our practice nurse at the same time as your annual blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes review. The aim of the review is to ensure that your kidney function is stable – you will require an blood test and urine sample to be sent to the lab – and that you are on the correct medication to protect your kidneys. The nurse or doctor will also ensure that any medication you are on will not cause any further kidney damage.
Less than 1% of patients with CKD stage 3 will go on to develop kidney failure. There are many things you can do to make sure you remain in the 99% who don’t. The following steps can help keep your kidneys as healthy as possible:
- do not smoke
- maintain a healthy blood pressure (neither too high nor too low). You can do this by eating a varied diet (particularly avoiding added salt), living an active lifestyle (for example, doing gentle exercise and avoiding stress) and taking medication prescribed by your GP. People with CKD should aim to keep their blood pressure below 140/85.
- reduce the amount of cholesterol in your diet. Cholesterol increases blood pressure and can impair kidney function
- people with diabetes should make sure their blood sugar levels are kept under control
For more detail on chronic kidney disease, please see: