Routine Medical Screenings for People with Chronic Kidney Disease

People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) may see their doctor more than a person who doesn’t have CKD. Although you go to your nephrologist to check on your kidney function, you should also get a routine medical screening from your primary care doctor every year.

A routine medical screening, or exam, can help detect any comorbidities you may develop with chronic kidney disease, as well as prevent any other health issues you might not be aware of. Think of a routine medical screening as a yearly checkup on your overall well-being.

Aside from the usual routine medical screening that people go through, when you have chronic kidney disease you need to have some tests and exams done monthly or annually by your nephrologist:

Other routine medical screenings for people with chronic kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease may not be the only disease you have. There are also other things that your doctor will consider in your examination. A medical screening can detect problems, such as cancer or bone disease, so you can be treated sooner. Annual medical exams may also prevent such health issues as vision or hearing loss, or keeping your gums healthy.

Here are a few lists of what you can expect from a routine medical screening, depending on your age and gender.

Age 18-39

  • Blood pressure
  • BMI (body mass index) and weight
  • Cholesterol
  • Dental exam (schedule with a dentist)
  • Eye exam (schedule appointment with an optometrist)
  • Immunizations
  • STD (sexually transmitted disease) screening
  • Testicular exam (men)
  • Breast exam (women)
  • Pelvic exam and Pap smear (women)

Age 40-64

  • Blood pressure
  • BMI and weight
  • Cholesterol, including HDL, LDL and triglycerides
  • Colonoscopy for colon cancer or polyps
  • Dental exam
  • Eye exam
  • Immunizations
  • Physical exam
  • Prostate exam (men)
  • Breast exam and mammogram (women)
  • Pelvic exam and Pap smear (women)
  • Osteoporosis (bone disease; men and women)

Age 65 and older

  • Blood pressure
  • BMI and weight
  • Cholesterol
  • Colonoscopy for colon cancer or polyps
  • Dental exam
  • Eye exam
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening (for men who smoke)
  • Hearing
  • Immunizations
  • Physical exam
  • Prostate exam (men)
  • Breast exam and mammogram (women)
  • Pelvic exam and Pap smear (women)
  • Osteoporosis (men and women)

Checklist for routine medical screenings

How do you organize all these exams and tests? Here are two checklists, one for women and one for men, to keep track of your routine medical screenings. Bring one of these checklists the next time you visit the doctor.

Women’s routine medical screening checklist

Test

Last test (month/year)

Results

Next test due (month/year)

Questions for my doctor

Blood pressure

 

 

 

 

BMI/weight

 

 

 

 

Cholesterol

 

 

 

 

Colonoscopy

 

 

 

 

Diabetes

 

 

 

 

Breast/mammogram

 

 

 

 

Pelvic/Pap smear

 

 

 

 

Osteoporosis

 

 

 

 

STD

 

 

 

 

Dental

 

 

 

 

Eye

 

 

 

 

Hearing

 

 

 

 

 Men’s routine medical screening checklist 

Test

Last test (month/year)

Results

Next test due (month/year)

Questions for my doctor

Abdominal aortic aneurysm

 

 

 

 

Blood pressure

 

 

 

 

BMI/weight

 

 

 

 

Cholesterol

 

 

 

 

Colonoscopy

 

 

 

 

Diabetes

 

 

 

 

Osteoporosis

 

 

 

 

Prostate/testicular

 

 

 

 

STD

 

 

 

 

Dental

 

 

 

 

Eye

 

 

 

 

Hearing

 

 

 

 

Tips to stay healthy when you have chronic kidney disease

Take the medicines prescribed by your doctor – Your doctor will prescribe medicine for your kidney disease and other comorbidities. Take the prescription as recommended and let your doctor know if you have any problems related to your medications. After a year, review the different medicines you take with your doctor and see if you need to change any of your prescriptions.

Eat a kidney-friendly diet – A healthy diet is important for your body. Sticking with a kidney-friendly diet can help you avoid the build up of excess wastes and minerals in the body. A diet low in sodium is better for you when you have chronic kidney disease. Depending on the stage of CKD, you may need to reduce protein, phosphorus, potassium or fluid intake as well. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise is always beneficial.

Exercise – Staying active or starting an exercise program is a great way for people with chronic kidney disease to live a healthier lifestyle. Exercise can get your heart rate up, give you energy, help you lose weight if you need to, and help you feel happier.

Quit smoking – If you smoke, try to kick the habit. Smoking can accelerate the loss of kidney function, increase blood pressure and is a cause for many cancers, among other health concerns. Ask your doctor, nurse or social worker about resources that can help you stop smoking.

Summary

In order to remain healthy when you have chronic kidney disease, you should make a point to schedule a routine medical screening every year. As you get older, more tests and exams are recommended for you. But routine medical screenings, along with monitoring your kidney disease, can detect and prevent other medical issues. Use a checklist for each exam, eat a kidney-friendly diet and stay on top of your prescribed medicines. These are just some of the ways that can help simplify your annual routine medical screenings.

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