Thyroid Testing May Identify Risk Factors Early for Renal Patients

When your doctor gave you the news about the health of your kidneys, she probably provided you with some guidelines to protect your health. Control your blood pressure. Manage blood sugar levels. Improve your diet. Take medications. Exercise regularly. Sound familiar?

These are accepted protocols for treating people with renal disease. But is there something missing? One recent study looked at the connection between renal disease and thyroid problems linked to heart disease and early death.

After being diagnosed with renal disease, maybe you should have your thyroid tested, too. That's what a group of researchers wanted to find out. In the study, researchers evaluated data from about 15,000 patients with renal disease and looked at results from thyroid function tests. They found that abnormalities in thyroid function increased the risk for early death caused by heart disease and other factors for people with renal disease.

But there was a catch. Researchers couldn't definitively identify the cause between renal disease, thyroid problems and early death.

And that means some healthcare professionals are divided on whether or not thyroid screening is necessary for patients with kidney problems. The American Thyroid Association recommends thyroid screenings only every five years for adults over age 35. But the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist has a slightly different position, recommending frequent thyroid screenings for older patients, especially women.

Got questions about whether or not you need your thyroid tested? Talk to your doctor. In the meantime, focus on what you can do to protect your health and remaining kidney function. Your diet plays a big part of that and requires limiting the amount of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein you eat. But it doesn't mean you don't get to eat delicious food. Just check out the selection of Renal-Friendly meals and stock up on your favorites.