DEAR ABBY: I always knew high blood pressure ran in my family, but I never realized that it could cause kidney disease. Because I felt healthy, I hadn't worried about my "borderline" hypertension. Turns out, my kidneys were silently being damaged.
I have since made lifestyle changes to control my blood pressure and prevent further damage. These include daily exercise and cutting back on salt, sweets and fast food.
March is National Kidney Month, and March 14 is World Kidney Day. The National Kidney Foundation is urging Americans to learn their risk factors for kidney disease and to get their kidneys checked with a simple urine and blood test. For a schedule of free kidney health screenings across the country, visit the National Kidney Foundation website at kidney.org.