Kidney disease, also known as chronic kidney disease, is a life-long condition in which the kidney gradually loses function. About 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Millions of others are at an increased risk for developing the disease and are not aware of it. With the progression of kidney disease, wastes build up in your blood. As a result, complications can occur such as high blood pressure, high potassium levels which can impair heart health, central nerve damage, anemia, poor nutritional health, weak bones, and a decreased immune response. It also increases your risk for heart and blood vessel disease. Kidney disease can eventually causes kidney failure and death. And the only way to treat kidney failure is with dialysis or a kidney transplant.
You kidneys are a pair of organs at the back of the abdomen. Each kidney is about the size of a fist. All of the blood in our bodies filter through the kidneys multiple times per day. The main function is to filter that blood. The kidneys remove wastes, control the body's fluid balance, and regulate the balance of electrolytes. As the kidneys filter blood, they create urine, which collects in the kidneys' pelvis -- funnel-shaped structures that drain down tubes called ureters to the bladder. They help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production.
During this month, I urge you to get a kidney checkup. Kidneys by nature are prone to disease. There are more than 26 million Americans who already have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed.
1 IN 3 AMERICANS IS AT RISK FOR KIDNEY DISEASE DUE TO DIABETES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE OR A FAMILY HISTORY OF KIDNEY FAILURE.
The National Kidney Foundation put together a great quiz for measuring your kidney health.
QUICK FACTS ON KIDNEY DISEASE:
- Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
- More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it.
- There are over 95,000 people waiting for kidney transplants.
- More than 590,000 people have kidney failure in the US today.
Symptoms of Kidney Disease
- You're more tired, have less energy or are having trouble concentrating.
- You're having trouble sleeping.
- You have dry and itchy skin.
- You feel the need to urinate more often.
- You see blood in your urine
- You have a poor appetite.
- Your muscles are cramping.