Washington, D.C. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) urges patients to take action to improve their kidney health during National Kidney Month in March. According to the National Kidney Foundation, some 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and one out of three American adults is at risk for developing the disease. To help patients combat the risks of kidney disease and kidney failure, nurse practitioners (NPs) encourage patients with risk factors, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family history of the disease, to schedule a kidney screening.
"NPs diagnose and treat the all too common impacts of poor kidney health in patients across America," said AANP President Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP. "This month, NPs are urging Americans to learn their risk factors, from high blood pressure to family history, and talk to their health care provider about improving their kidney health."
Consistent and regular hydration, a wholesome and balanced diet that limits consumption of salty and fatty foods, regular exercise and maintenance of a healthy body weight are all strategies to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
"Your kidneys are essential to keeping you alive and healthy," says Kevin Longino, CEO, National Kidney Foundation and a kidney transplant patient. "They are powerful chemical factories working nonstop, and if they don't, the effects are life-threatening. It only takes two simple tests at the doctor's office to check your kidney health. Even if you inherit kidney disease, you may be able to slow it down with lifestyle change."