Posted by: Patricia Hysong | March 10, 2014

National Kidney Month

Natl Kidney Month

 

Let’s talk Kidneys…not the bean, the organ.

Most people are born with two, but thankfully, if need be, you can live with only one. Many can and do live full, healthy lives with only one kidney.  That’s a great thing…to know you can, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should. Rather, doing everything possible to keep both kidneys and by extension, yourself healthy, is vital.

Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease and most don’t know it until something drastic happens. 1 in 3 Americans are at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure, good old genetics; having a family history of the disease, and being over the age of 60. Over 95,000 people are waiting for kidney transplants and more than 590,000 currently suffer from kidney failure in the United States.

Proper kidney function is essential to maintaining overall good health. Several ways this is done include:

  • acting as a filter for blood by removing 200 liters of waste each day
  • helping to control salt, potassium and acid content in the body
  • promoting strong bones by producing an active form of vitamin D
  • regulating blood pressure by releasing hormones
  • controlling red blood cell production
  • regulating fluid levels in the body

Improper kidney function can lead to:

  • heart disease
  • nerve damage
  • high blood pressure
  • stroke
  • weak bones
  • anemia
  • kidney failure

Symptoms to look for:

  • swelling of the ankles, feet, face, hands and belly
  • puffiness of the eyes
  • increased thirst
  • blood in urine or foamy urine
  • painful urination
  • fatigue

Two ways to test your kidney function:

  • Urine
  • Blood

Taking care of your kidneys can go along way to taking good care of your overall health. Next time you are at the doctor, discuss good kidney health and any concerns you may have. Of course, if you are showing symptoms, don’t wait until your next physical examination. If you are at risk, take care of it sooner, rather than later!

Enjoy your good health.

For more information, consult the National Kidney Foundation website.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

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