People with CKD Can Lower Their Risk for Kidney Failure

Patient with doctor

Learn about CKD from a primary care doctor or a kidney doctor (nephrologist) to better understand treatment options and protect the kidneys. People with glomerulonephritis, polycystic kidney disease, or other kidney disease should talk about specific treatment options with a kidney doctor.

Monitor and Manage Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure

  • Have blood sugar and blood pressure checked regularly.
  • Use medicines if prescribed to lower blood sugar and blood pressure.

People with diabetes, high blood pressure, or CKD need to talk to their doctor about how to protect their kidneys.

Manage CKD

  • Make lifestyle changes (e.g., healthy eating, physical activity) to prevent more kidney damage. Meet with a dietitian to create a kidney-healthy eating plan that is low in salt and fat and has the right amount and source of protein. As CKD gets worse, the plan may also include limiting phosphorus and potassium.
  • Use medicines as directed to slow the decline in kidney function.
  • Stop smoking or do not start smoking.
  • Avoid exposures that can harm the kidneys or cause kidney function to suddenly get worse:
    • Certain medicines:
      • Over-the-counter pain medicines like ibuprofen and naproxen, which are also called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
      • Some antibiotics.
    • Certain herbal supplements.
    • Excessive alcohol intake.
  • Review with health care providers all prescription and over-the-counter medications to make sure they are safe for the kidneys. Always talk to a doctor before taking any supplements.
  • Check with a doctor about other behaviors or substances that can harm the kidneys or about special precautions to take when doing medical tests or procedures, such as imaging studies or colonoscopies.
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2021