Chronic kidney disease, or CKD, is a major cause of suffering in the U.S. One out of every three American adults are at risk for CKD and according to estimates, of the 37 million adults who have it, 90% aren’t even aware. Since March is National Kidney Month, Blue KC is raising awareness for CKD, and we’re here to help you understand the risk factors. After all, early detection is key to preventing CKD from progressing to kidney failure.
What is CKD? It means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and autoimmune conditions are at highest risk – but anyone can develop CKD. Testing may be the only way to know if you have kidney disease.
One way to get started in assessing your risk is to take the Kidney Risk Assessment quiz.
Tips for avoiding CKD
What can you do to protect your kidneys? There are steps you take, ranging from controlling your blood pressure to eating better. Take a look:
- If you’re diabetic, keep your blood sugars within an acceptable range. It’s important to test your blood sugar as directed by your physician as well as have your HgbA1C checked.
- If you have hypertension (high blood pressure), keep your blood pressure below 149/90 mm Hg.
- Take all your medicines as prescribed by your physician. Sign up for automatic refills so you always have an adequate supply.
- Keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range. This can help prevent coronary artery disease, strokes, and kidney damage.
- Get active. Exercise 3-5 days a week.
- Quit smoking.
Put your kidney health first. Talk to your doctor.
If you’re concerned about your kidney health, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. Here are some key questions to ask.
- What is my current kidney function? (Specifically, glomerular filtration rate or GFR.)
- What are my urine test results? (Specifically, urine albumin result.)
- How is my blood pressure?
- How is my blood glucose and HgbA1C?
- What else can I do to keep my kidneys healthy?
Blue KC has dedicated Registered Nurse Case Managers who can help you with your chronic conditions. You can also engage with a Registered Nurse Case Manager through the Blue KC Care Management app.
The app allows you to:
- Track your blood pressure, weight, physical activity and more – all in one place
- Set daily reminders to take medications
- Read helpful articles about your condition and healthcare coverage
- Send secure messages to your care team
How to get started:
- Using your mobile device, search the App Store or Google Play, search for “Blue KC Care Management” and download the app
- Create an account
- Follow the instructions to create an account
- Your access code is: kchelpwelcome
“Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Symptoms and Causes.” National Kidney Foundation, kidney.org. Accessed January 21, 2022. https://www.kidney.org/atoz/content/about-chronic-kidney-disease
“Chronic Kidney Disease.” National Institute of Health, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Accessed January 21, 2022. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd