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March is National Kidney Month. Since all of us have kidneys there are a few things you should know. There are several things that you can do to help keep them healthy. There are more than 30 million Americans that already have kidney disease. On average, 1 in 3 individuals are at risk for kidney disease due to lifestyle, diabetes, high blood pressure or family history of kidney disease.
The kidneys are fist size and ironically the shape of kidney beans. They are located within both sides of your lower back. Kidney Disease is the gradual loss of kidney function. Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood, which are then excreted in your urine. When chronic kidney disease reaches an advanced stage, dangerous levels of fluid, electrolytes and wastes can build up in your body. Kidney disease effects every part of your body. 

What do they do?

  • Filter waste out of 200 liters of blood every day
  • Regulation of the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
  • Removing of drugs from the body
  • Balancing the body’s fluids
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
  • Controlling the production of red blood cells

What are some of the risk factors?

  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • Smoking
  • Being African-American, Native American or Asian-American
  • Family history of kidney disease
  • Abnormal kidney structure
  • Older age

What are few types of kidney disease?

  • Acute kidney failure
  • Anorexia
  • Diabetes
  • Drug Abuse
  • Gestational Hypertension
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Kidney Infection
  • Kidney Stones
  • Lupus
  • UTI

What are a few of the symptoms?

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in how much you urinate
  • Decreased mental sharpness
  • Muscle twitches and cramps
  • Swelling of feet and ankles
  • Persistent itching
  • Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
  • Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
  • High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control

What are a few of the complications?

  • Fluid retention, which could lead to swelling in your arms and legs, high blood pressure, or fluid in your lungs (pulmonary edema)
  • A sudden rise in potassium levels in your blood (hyperkalemia), which could impair your heart’s ability to function and may be life-threatening
  • Heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease
  • Weak bones and an increased risk of bone fractures
  • Anemia
  • Decreased sex drive, erectile dysfunction or reduced fertility
  • Damage to your central nervous system, which can cause difficulty concentrating, personality changes or seizures
  • Decreased immune response, which makes you more vulnerable to infection
  • Pericarditis, an inflammation of the saclike membrane that envelops your heart (pericardium)
  • Pregnancy complications that carry risks for the mother and the developing fetus
  • Irreversible damage to your kidneys (end-stage kidney disease), eventually requiring either dialysis or a kidney transplant for survival
Treatment for chronic kidney disease focuses on slowing the progression of the kidney damage, usually by controlling the underlying cause. Chronic kidney disease can progress to end-stage kidney failure, which is fatal without artificial filtering (dialysis) or a kidney transplant. 

Long story short….treat your body well because you only get one. 

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2018-03-17T11:01:54+00:00