Your Kidneys: Do You Know These Facts?
Kidneys are important because they:
- Filter blood
- Keep the right amount of fluids in the body
- Help make red blood cells
- Help keep blood pressure under control
- Activate Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones
- Keep blood minerals in balance (sodium, phosphorus, potassium)
Every 30 minutes, your kidneys filter all the blood in your body, removing waste and excess fluid.
Most people have two kidneys, but it is possible to live with only one.
Risk factors for kidney disease include:
- High blood pressure
- Being 60 years or older
- Having a family member with kidney disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure
Signs and Symptoms
- Because kidney disease often has no symptoms, it can go undetected until it is very advanced.
- In its advanced stages, some signs of kidney disease include:
- Fatigue, weakness
- Difficult, painful urination
- Pink, dark urine (blood in urine)
- Increased need to urinate (especially at night)
- Puffy eyes
- Swollen face, hands, abdomen, ankles, feet
- Increased thirst
Early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.
Over time, kidney disease can:
- Get worse
- Lead to kidney failure
- Cause heart and blood vessel disease.
- Cause other health problems
Once the kidneys fail, dialysis or a kidney transplant is required
People with risk factors should get tested regularly because:
- In the early stages of kidney disease, most people don’t have symptoms
- Kidney disease can be treated
Tests to find kidney disease include:
- Simple urine test.
- Creatinine which is a blood test
Some ways to protect kidneys are:
- Keep blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol under control
- Lose weight, if needed
- Eat healthy meals
- Take all medicines as prescribed
- Get regular exercise
- Don’t smoke
- Limit alcohol
- Avoid pain killer medicines like naxoproxin, or ibuprofen because they can harm kidneys
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