Don’t Forget About Your Kidneys This Month
Did you know one in three American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease? It’s estimated that 37 million adults have chronic kidney disease, and 90% of them aren’t aware. Early detection is key to preventing chronic kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure!
March is National Kidney Month and Blue KC wants to help make you aware of the risks for chronic kidney disease.
Chronic kidney disease means your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should. Diabetes, high blood pressure, family history, and autoimmune conditions are the primary conditions that cause kidney disease. While anyone can get chronic kidney disease, people with these conditions are at higher risk.
Blue KC is dedicated to helping our members prevent progression to kidney failure.
The first step is to visit a primary care physician (PCP). Kidney disease is preventable in many cases, and establishing a relationship with a physician is important for reducing your risk factors for kidney disease. If you don’t currently have one, use the Find Care tool on our website.
If you have a PCP, then it’s important for you to ask them these questions related to kidney disease:
- Are my kidneys healthy?
- What can cause kidney disease?
- Do I have any conditions related to kidney disease?
- Have I been tested for kidney disease with a urine and blood test?
- Urine should be spot checked for the albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR) to detect protein (albuminemia).
- A blood test for serum creatinine should be checked and you be given a glomerular filtration rate (GFR).
- If I’ve been tested, can you help me understand the results as they relate to my kidney function?
There are known chronic conditions that contribute to kidney disease such as diabetes or hypertension (high blood pressure). Here are some tips to avoid chronic kidney disease:
- If you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar 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 medicine prescribed by your physician. Sign up for automatic refills so you will always have your needed supply.
- Keep your cholesterol levels within the target range. This can help prevent coronary artery disease, strokes, and kidney damage.
- Exercise. Try to be active three to five days a week.
- Quit smoking.
Blue KC has dedicated Registered Nurse Case Managers who can help you with your chronic conditions. And an easy way to engage with a Registered Nurse Case Manager is 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, go to 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.
If you have any questions about our Care Management team, please call Blue KC Customer Service at the number listed on your member ID card. Please know that we’re here to help!
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) Symptoms and Causes.” National Kidney Foundation, kidney.org. Accessed February 28, 2023. 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 February 28, 2023. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/kidney-disease/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd