Are You At Risk for Kidney Disease? - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

Published on March 11, 2015

Are You At Risk for Kidney Disease?

Crozer-Keystone Health SystemMedia Contact:
Katrina Stier
(610) 447-6314

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World Kidney Day is Thursday, Mar. 12, and your kidneys have earned a day. Your kidneys have a big job to do – they filter waste and excess fluids from your blood. They also control the chemicals and fluids in your body, control your blood pressure, keep your bones healthy and help you make red blood cells.

If kidneys become diseased or damaged, they may not work as well as they’re supposed to. And if they’re not treated, diseased kidneys can eventually stop functioning. This is serious and potentially fatal.

Like many health conditions, treating kidney disease early is best. However, the early stages of kidney disease have few or no signs or symptoms. In fact, chronic kidney disease may not become apparent until your kidney function is significantly impaired. That’s why it’s important to know if you are at risk for this condition – knowing your risk of developing kidney disease will help you and your doctor catch it before it becomes a serious issue.

“Once a patient has been diagnosed with hypertension and or diabetes they should ask to be screened for kidney disease,” says Crozer-Keystone nephrologist Hannah R. Margoles, D.O. “The more a patient knows about their condition from the beginning, the better our chances are of avoiding serious impairment.”

One of the leading risk factors of kidney disease is diabetes – 44 percent of people starting dialysis have kidney failure caused by diabetes. Over many years, diabetes can damage your kidneys without you feeling it.

High blood pressure is the second leading cause of kidney failure. Similar to diabetes, high blood pressure damages the small blood vessels in your kidneys and can lead to kidney disease.

In addition, heart disease, family history, smoking, being 65 or older, obesity and high cholesterol are also risk factors for kidney disease.

Just because you have some or all of these risk factors doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do to prevent developing kidney disease.

While you cannot control your age and family history, you can control the other risk factors.

“It only takes 10 minutes to collect a blood sample and a urine sample to determine your risk. And early identification and management lead to better outcomes and healthier patients’” adds Dr. Margoles.

The most important things you can do to keep your kidneys healthy are to get your blood and urine checked for the disease and manage your diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.

You can do this by eating healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. You should also cut back on the amount of salt and sodium you consume.

You should limit the amount of alcohol you drink, if you drink any at all. If you do choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks a day for men.

Being more physically active and getting to a healthy weight can help you lessen your risk of kidney disease. If you’re already at a healthy weight, you should work to maintain it by moving and being physically active most days of the week. If you’re concerned about your weight, consult your primary care doctor about the best plan to increase your daily physical activity and reduce calorie consumption.

And if you’re a smoker, quit.

If you have any risk factors, make a concerted effort to regularly see your doctor. This will help your physician monitor your risk factors, set a baseline for your health to make it easier to detect something early and, in general, help you maintain your overall health.

2015 Donor Dash

In honor of Organ Donor Awareness month, join Team CKHS for the Gift of Life Donor Program’s 20th Annual Dash for Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Crozer-Keystone is teaming up with The Gift of Life Donor Program and the Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge to support the Donor Dash.

You can join Team CKHS today at

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