Focus on the Kidneys During National Kidney Month in March
About The Kidneys:
Kidneys filter 200 liters of blood a day, help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production. But they are also prone to disease; 1 in 3 Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney failure. There are more than 30 million Americans who already have kidney disease, and most don’t know it because there are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed.
The kidneys are two, fist-sized organs in your lower back. They maintain overall health through the following functions:
· Filtering waste out of approximately 200 liters of blood each day.
· Regulating of the body's salt, potassium and acid content.
· Removing of drugs from the body.
· Balancing the body's fluids.
· Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure.
· Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones.
· Controlling the production of red blood cells.
Quick Facts on Kidney Disease:
· Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country.
· More than 30 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.
1 in 3 American adults is at risk for kidney disease. What puts you at risk for kidney disease? Major risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney failure and being age 60 or older.
Kidney disease often has no symptoms, and it can go undetected until very advanced. But a simple urine test can tell you if you have kidney disease. Remember, it's important to get tested because early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease. Here are some helpful things to discuss with your doctor at your annual physical.
2 Simple Tests To Check For Kidney Disease
Urine Test - You could help save your kidneys with a simple urine test. Ask your doctor about Albumin Creatinine Ratio (ACR) which estimates the amount of a type of protein, albumin, that is in your urine.
Blood Test - The Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) tells how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood. It is the best way to check kidney function. Over 90 is good, 60-89 should be monitored, less than 60 for 3 months indicates kidney disease.