Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects one in ten people and a staggering one in two of those over 75. The good news is that you can cut your chances of developing it. Here's how.
1. Keep your pee pale
Your urine should always be the colour of straw. This is achieved by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Drinking more water will in turn help keep your kidneys functioning properly.
2. Know your blood pressure—and treat it if it’s high
Having high blood pressure puts extra strain on your kidneys, so keep yours as low as possible.
Not had a check recently? Get blood pressure tested at your doctor’s surgery or invest in your own monitor, and take medication to lower it if necessary.
3. Don’t smoke
They’re not just cancer-sticks; cigarettes can increase your risk of heart disease and make any mild kidney problems worse.
4. Stay slim
Making sure you remain a healthy weight will cut your blood pressure—and, by extension, your chances of developing CKD.
5. Go easy on the alcohol
Stick to those recommended limits—three to four units for men, two to three for women—to keep hypertension and CKD at bay.
6. Avoid common painkillers
Long-term use and overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen can up your risk of kidney disease.
7. Take exercise
Again, staying fit will help keep your blood pressure down and your kidneys healthy.
You should be looking at undertaking around 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise such as fast walking or cycling.