March is National Kidney Month
As many as 90% of Americans who have kidney disease don’t know they have it until it is very advanced
Kidney disease is hard to detect in its early stages, making it difficult to diagnose. The earlier you find out you have kidney disease, however, the sooner you can take steps to protect your kidneys from further damage.
What Does Your Kidney Do?
The kidney is an extremely important organ in the body. It’s known as a vital organ, along with the brain, heart, liver, and lungs. Most people have two kidneys, however, you can live healthily with just one.
The main job of the kidneys is to cleanse the blood of toxins and transform the waste into urine. On top of ridding the body of waste products, the kidneys keep the electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, and water content of the body constant, as well as secrete a number of essential hormones.
Facts About Your Kidneys
The main function of your kidneys is to filter out toxins. On an average day, the two kidneys can filter up to 200 liters of fluid.
Kidney disease can lead to other health problems, like nerve damage, stroke, anemia, heart attack, weak bones, and more. It can also lead to late-stage kidney failure, which leads to toxins will staying in your body and your blood no longer functioning as it needs to.
When your kidneys are damaged and can’t filter blood the way they should, it’s referred to as chronic kidney disease.
Symptoms of kidney failure include swelling of the face, hands, abdomen, ankles, and feet, painful or bloody urination, increased thirst, and fatigue.
Risk factors include family history, high blood pressure, diabetes, and being over the age of 60.
How to Manage Your Risk of Kidney Disease
Are you at high risk of kidney disease? Learn the risk factors. If you are over 60 or have risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease, consider talking with your doctor about getting tested for kidney disease. Your test results can help you and your doctor craft a care plan for your kidneys.
Kidney disease can be detected using a urine test to check for kidney damage or a blood test to check how well the blood is functioning. Having a plan may reduce your risk for serious health problems, like heart attack and stroke, and give you more healthy moments.
You can keep your kidneys healthy by eating 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day or less, getting enough sleep, moving your body regularly, reducing stress, limiting alcohol, and managing your diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.