If you have a chronic condition that can cause kidney disease, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it is important that you carefully manage your condition. Follow all the advice given to you by healthcare professionals and keep all appointments relating to your condition. People with diabetes are recommended to have their kidney function tested at least once a year.
If you are at risk, there are a number of things you can do to help prevent kidney disease as well as other chronic conditions:
Eat a healthy balanced diet
A healthy diet is low in fat (particularly saturated fat) salt and added sugar. You should aim to eat a balanced diet, which includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (a minimum of five portions a day) and starchy foods such as bread, pasta and potatoes. By having a healthy balanced diet you can lower your chances of getting heart disease and maintain your blood pressure at a healthy level.
Drink plenty of water
Kidney failure is linked to dehydration, so avoid this by drinking plenty of water.
Drink less alcohol
Drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can make you overweight and dehydrated. Avoid drinking more than the recommended limits of alcohol, which are 2-3 units per day for women and 3-4 units per day for men.
Smoking increases your chances of getting kidney disease, particularly if you have diabetes. Smoking can also cause other chronic conditions so whether you are at risk of kidney disease or not, get help to quit smoking! Stop Smoking Wales 0800 085 2219.
Thirty minutes of moderate exercise a day, at least five times a week is recommended. The exercise should be vigorous enough that it leaves your heart beating faster and you should feel slightly out of breath. You can make it easier by breaking the exercise down into 10 minute chunks. Just taking a brisk walk or walking up the stairs can help.
Where to get help and advice
Wales Kidney Patients Association - 01792 891774