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National Kidney Month is observed during March, but you can be a kidney health champion any time of the year! Here are ways to promote kidney health among your loved ones, patients, and community.
Almost half of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes.
Diabetes can damage your kidneys. This damage can happen over many years, without
you feeling it. But, even if you have diabetes, you can take steps to help keep your
Managing your diabetes is an important part of keeping your kidneys healthy.
If you have diabetes, you can lower your risk for kidney disease by controlling your blood sugar and keeping your blood
pressure and cholesterol at the levels set with your provider. Making healthy food choices, being more physically active,
and quitting smoking if you smoke also can help keep your kidneys healthy. Losing weight if you are overweight is another
way to help your kidneys. Learn more about losing weight from the
Weight-Control Information Network.
Learn more about managing your diabetes
from the National Diabetes Education Program.
If you have diabetes, it is important to get checked for kidney disease. Early kidney
disease usually does not have signs or symptoms. Testing is the only way to know how your kidneys are
doing. Two tests are needed to check for kidney disease. A blood test checks your GFR, which tells how
well your kidneys are filtering. A urine test checks for albumin in your urine. Albumin is a protein that can
pass into the urine when the kidneys are damaged. The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the
sooner you can get treatment to help delay or prevent kidney failure. If you have diabetes, talk to your
health care provider
about getting your kidneys checked.
Learn about keeping your kidneys healthy as you age from NIH SeniorHealth. And share what you learn with your loved ones.
Share kidney health information with your faith community. Share a brief kidney health message with your congregation.
View a sample message
Hi faith family! Your health is important. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, don’t forget to talk with your doctor about
kidney disease testing. For more information on kidney disease and its risk factors, visit
Encourage at risk friends and family to get checked for kidney disease, especially those who have diabetes or high blood pressure.
Share on Facebook
Connect with the kidney health community. Like the Make the Kidney Connection Facebook page. Providers, follow NKDEP Director
Dr. Andrew Narva on Twitter.
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook
Subscribe to Make the Kidney Connection News,
a monthly newsletter featuring tips for talking about kidney health with your family and faith community.
Send an email to a family member or friend who has diabetes or high blood pressure to encourage them to keep their kidneys healthy.
View a sample email
I came across some information about kidney health and thought it would be helpful. I recently learned that diabetes and high
blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney disease, and I wanted to make sure you knew, too. Kidney disease is serious.
It can cause the kidneys to fail. If the kidneys fail, treatment options such as dialysis or a kidney transplant can help people
feel better and live longer. The good news is that there are things we can do to protect our kidneys. If you are at risk for
kidney disease, talk to your health care provider about getting tested and about other ways to protect your kidneys and stay
healthy. Let’s promise to support each other when it comes to our health.
For more information about kidney disease, call 1-866-4-KIDNEY (1-866-454-3639) or visit
nkdep.nih.gov. Join me online and like the
Make the Kidney Connection page on Facebook.
Host a Kidney Sundays event to educate your faith community about kidney health. NKDEP has a
free Kidney Sundays toolkit
to help you plan. Learn more about
talking with your faith community.
If you have a loved one who speaks Spanish, encourage them to
explore our Spanish-language information about kidney disease—especially
if they have diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or a family history of kidney failure.
Get smart about kidney disease. Check out the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2014 Chronic Kidney Disease Fact Sheet.
If you are planning a family reunion, get a free copy of NKDEP's
Family Reunion Guide to help
family members make the kidney connection. Learn more about talking with your family.
If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, or a family history of kidney
failure, you may be at risk for kidney disease. Schedule an appointment with your health care
provider to get your blood and urine checked.
Become an organ donor.
Educators: create and implement lesson plans for educating patients with chronic kidney disease with NKDEP's online
Kidney Disease Education Lesson Builder.
Dietitians: learn more about CKD medical nutrition therapy with NKDEP's
CKD Nutrition Management Training Program. You can even earn
continuing education credits for the program from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Dietetic Educators: Teach CKD nutrition therapy to your students
and interns with challenging case studies.
Primary Care Providers: get information and tools to help you better
collaborate with nephrologists and dietitians.
Find answers to common questions about laboratory estimation of glomerular filtration rate and
measurement of urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio.
Tell others about NKDEP and its free resources by tailoring these articles for your website or
newsletter. Learn more about talking with your members.
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