Can You Prevent Kidney Disease?

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on May 01, 2023
2 min read

To lower your chances of getting kidney disease, you’ll actually want to focus on two other conditions: diabetes and high blood pressure. They’re two of the biggest threats to your kidneys.

Many people have diabetes and/or high blood pressure and don’t know it. So if it’s been a while since your last checkup, you may want to schedule one.

If your doctor tells you that you’ve got diabetes or hypertension (another name for high blood pressure), work to bring it under control. That will spare your kidneys from the extra wear and tear that high blood sugar levels or high blood pressure cause over time.

The things you do to take care of your heart and weight -- like eating a healthy diet, not smoking, limiting alcohol, staying active, and taking any medicines your doctor prescribes -- also are good for your kidneys. So keep your healthy habits going strong!

If your odds for kidney disease are higher than most -- that is, if you have diabetes or high blood pressure, or if kidney problems run in your family -- you may need to get regular tests to see how well your kidneys work.

  • Urine tests show if you have too much protein, glucose (sugar), or blood in your urine.
  • Blood pressure readings check whether your blood pressure is elevated.
  • Fasting blood glucose tests (taken after you haven’t eaten for several hours) measure your blood sugar.
  • Another blood test that can be used to determine diabetes is a hemoglobin A1C, which will show your average blood sugar level over the past 2 to 3 months.
  • Creatinine tests measure the amount of waste from muscle activity. When the kidneys don’t work properly, creatinine levels rise.

These tests won’t prevent kidney disease. But if you find out that you have a problem when it’s still in the early stages, it could help you prevent kidney failure.