National Kidney Month
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 kidneys healthy.
Keep your kidneys healthy by managing your diabetes.
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.
Know how well your kidneys are working by getting checked for kidney disease.
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.
6 ways in 60 seconds to share kidney information
Raise Awareness about Lupus
Did you know that lupus nephritis—kidney damage caused by lupus—runs in families? NKDEP and NIAMS have partnered to provide you with information on Living with Lupus and outreach materials.
Share with your Faith Community
Share kidney health information with your faith community. Share a brief kidney health message with your congregation.
Share with Friends and Family
Email Friends and Family
Send an email to a family member or friend who has diabetes or high blood pressure to encourage them to keep their kidneys healthy.
Subscribe to our Newsletter
Looking for more information on how to keep your kidneys healthy? Subscribe to NIDDK’s Health Information Newsletter.
Looking to do more? Here are more ways you can help improve your and your loved ones’ kidney health!
- Host a Kidney Sundays event to educate your faith community about kidney health. NKDEP has a free Kidney Sundays toolkit (PDF, 1.39 MB) to help you plan. Watch this video on Hosting a Kidney Sundays Event and learn more about talking with your faith community.
- Learn about the Kidney Sundays 2017 focus—lupus nephritis—and its impact on the African American community. NKDEP and NIAMS have partnered to provide you with information on Living with Lupus and outreach materials.
- 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.
- If you are planning a family reunion, print or download a copy of NKDEP’s Family Reunion Guide (PDF, 1.48 MB) 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.
If you’re a health care professional or organization representative:
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, like the Making Sense of CKD in Primary Care (PDF, 3.66 MB) guide, to help you manage adult CKD patients.
Community Health Workers: educate Hispanics at risk for kidney disease about the need for testing with the Riñones, Tesoros (Kidneys, Treasures) toolkit.
Find answers to common questions about laboratory estimation of glomerular filtration rate and measurement of urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio.
This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts.