National Kidney Month - What You Need To Know

March is National Kidney Month. In an effort to raise awareness about kidney disease, DaVita, one of the largest kidney care companies in the United States, is sharing information about kidney disease. One in ten adults is affected by chronic kidney disease. This may come in the form of end stage renal disease or for those are in need of a kidney transplant or dialysis.

The kidneys provide a vital function for the body. Kidneys remove waste, maintain chemical balances and maintain fluid in the body. The kidneys remove excess water from the body. The level of kidney disease is determined by the efficiency of the kidneys to remove waste from the blood. Sudden conditions can cause kidney disease; however, it can slowly progress over the years as well.

It’s difficult for people to determine whether they have kidney disease because much of the progression is not evident in symptoms. It’s not until people experience kidney failure that many discover an issue. However, there are risk factors that serve as an indication that kidney disease is likely. For instance, people who have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, a family history of kidney disease or who have high blood pressure are likely to experience kidney disease. People who are 18 years of age and older with these conditions should be screened for kidney disease. At times, free screenings are offered; however, the primary doctor should be informed as well. The main cause of kidney disease is diabetes while the second leading cause is high blood pressure. A third of people who have diabetes experience kidney disease. A fifth of people who have high blood pressure experience kidney disease.

Because kidney disease is hard to observe from symptoms alone, it is important to seek laboratory tests to determine this. This is done by drawing blood to determine the level of creatinine that exists in the blood. Creatinine is a waste product that the kidneys remove from the blood. The level of creatinine in the blood indicates how functional a person’s kidneys are. When end kidney disease results, patients may require dialysis to help assist with removing waste from the body. Those with end stage renal disease may need a kidney transplant.

Proper treatment and early detection can help delay kidney failure. Also, it is important to eat healthy. People should ingest the proper amounts of sodium, protein and fluid. Early detection of kidney disease helps to avoid complications. The best method of treatment is prevention.

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