Did you know March is National Kidney Month? This month we want to shed some light kidney disease risks, symptoms, and diagnosis. It’s also important to remember all the ways your kidneys work to keep your body happy and healthy! Let’s dive right in so you can learn precisely what national kidney month is all about.

What Do Your Kidneys Do?

Kidneys have multiple jobs, 6 to be exact.
1. Regulate fluid levels throughout the body
2. Keep your blood healthy by filtering out waste
3. Aids in the production of vital red blood cells
4. Maintain a healthy blood pressure
5. Balance minerals in your blood
6. Maintain bone health by activating vitamin D in your body Without your kidneys, many vital parts of your health and well being would be put at risk.

Who’s at Risk for Kidney Disease?

Technically, anyone can be at risk for kidney disease, but there are a few factors that increase your risk. Patients over 60 are at high risk as well as those with high blood pressure, a family history of kidney disease, and those suffering from diabetes. Healthy lifestyle changes can help to lower blood pressure and decrease your risk of developing diabetes, which means reduced risk for kidney disease too!

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Early detection of kidney disease is vital to the successful treatment and recovery of a patient. Urinary symptoms are often the first sign of a problem. Look out for painful urination, blood in your urine, and foamy urine. If you notice these signs, tell a doctor right away. Other symptoms can include unexplained swelling of the hands, feet, ankles, and face. You may see puffiness around your eyes before you notice overall facial swelling. Excessive thirst and fatigue are also symptoms of kidney disease, but they’re harder to detect in most patients.

If you believe you may be showing signs of kidney disease, you should alert your doctor right away so they can order blood and urine tests to determine your status. There are treatment options available to those suffering from kidney disease. The treatment you receive will depend on the severity of your condition, your overall health, and many other factors. If you’d like to help those suffering from kidney disease, register to be an organ donor! Your healthy kidneys could be the life-saving donation someone in need has been waiting for.