Letters to the Editor

You can stop kidney disease

One in seven American adults has kidney disease. Most don’t know it, but something can be done. In most cases kidney disease is preventable – and its progression can be halted.

The incidence among American adults has increased 30 percent in the past 10 years. Thirty percent of the country’s Medicare budget is spent treating kidney disease; 7 percent is spent on dialysis treatment.

Here’s how you can improve your life to avoid kidney disease:

Treat high blood pressure and diabetes, two of the leading causes of kidney failure.

Don’t smoke.

Eat a low-salt, low-fat diet. Obesity can lead to kidney disease.

Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Don’t overuse pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen, which can damage kidneys.

Your doctor can run three simple tests to assess your risk:

Check your blood pressure

Test for protein in the urine

Test your blood for creatinine

If you have kidney disease, ask your doctor for medications to keep it from getting worse.

Joyce F. Jackson, president and chief executive officer of Northwest Kidney Centers

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