Each year, kidney disease kills more people than breast and prostate cancer combined. But while the majority of Americans can recite the common tests for breast and prostate cancer, not many know the risk factors and tests that could keep them off of dialysis and the transplant list.

March is National Kidney Month, and the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois is urging all Illinoisans to give their kidneys some attention with a well-deserved check-up. Because kidney disease often develops slowly with few symptoms, it can go undetected until it is very advanced. Simple steps such as controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, keeping weight down, exercising regularly, quitting smoking and avoiding excessive use of pain medicine, can help reduce risk.

The National Kidney Foundation of Illinois organizes health screenings with the KidneyMobile®, a mobile truck that travels across the state screening community members for diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Since 2006, the KidneyMobile® has screened nearly 40,000 people throughout Illinois. Alarmingly, almost 75% of those screened were found to have at least one significantly abnormal result.

View our flyer for more information on receiving a free health screening.

What can you do for your kidneys?

Kidney diseases are silent killers, which will largely affect your quality of life. There are however several easy ways to reduce the risk of developing kidney disease.

  1. Keep fit and active
  2. Keep regular control of your blood sugar level
  3. Monitor your blood pressure
  4. Eat healthy and keep your weight in check
  5. Maintain a healthy fluid intake
  6. Do not smoke
  7. Do not take over-the-counter pills on a regular basis
  8. Get your kidney function checked if you have one or more of the ‘high risk’ factors

Learn more at World Kidney Day and The National Kidney Foundation.

Read the full article at Chicago Tribune.