March is National Kidney Month: Get the Facts
If you’re healthy, you probably don’t think about your kidneys all that much. But you can be sure that your kidneys have something to do with your good health.
It’s National Kidney Month, so let’s do some appreciating of those wonderful organs that do so much to regulate a healthy body.
In addition to helping control your blood pressure and getting rid of toxins and excess water, your kidneys also produce red blood cells and keep your bones nice and strong. The little bean-shaped organs even help control your body’s chemical balance by managing the minerals and acidity levels in your blood steam. When they’re damaged due to health issues like diabetes or high blood pressure, your kidneys aren’t able to filter blood as good as they used to.
So even though we typically give other organs like our heart a lot of attention and TLC, we should pay more attention to the little guys who do so much for our health.
Between eight and ten percent of adults have some variation of kidney damage, which is predominantly caused by diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
In most cases, those with early stages of kidney disease do not experience any symptoms. However, if it goes undetected over a long period of time, you risk the threat of losing kidney function, which can ultimately turn into kidney failure. From there, the only options that remain are dialysis treatments and kidney transplants.
Thankfully, kidney disease can be discovered early through simple blood and urine tests. And the sooner it’s detected, the faster you can receive treatment. All of this can help lower your chances of experiencing further kidney damage and additional cardiovascular issues, especially if you’re already at risk for kidney disease.
In addition to getting screened, you can also take preventive day-to-day measures to reduce your risk of developing chronic kidney disease:
- Lower your blood pressure by: Taking specific medications and reducing salt intake
- Control glucose levels, blood lipids, and anemia
- Quit smoking
- Increase amount of physical activity
- Control your body weight
- Maintain a healthy diet
“One of the easiest and most effective ways to be screened for kidney health is by attending our upcoming program on Saturday, April 27th from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Chester City Hall, “ says Cosme Manzerbeitia, lead kidney transplant surgeon. Along with the National Kidney Foundation, Crozer doctors will be on hand, offering a variety of testing to determine risk factors. For more information visit here.
So make sure to take a moment this month to reflect on those underappreciated organs, your kidneys, and maybe even start some healthy behaviors to help ensure they stay healthy.
For more information about the Crozer-Keystone Regional Kidney Transplant Center at Crozer-Chester Medical Center, visit www.crozerkidney.org.