March is National Kidney Month
Did you know that 1 in 3 US adults is at risk for kidney disease and that it can go undetected for a very long time? Did you also know that chronic kidney disease or CKD affects 26 million American adults? Main risks for CKD are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible in approximately two-thirds of all cases.
Although symptoms of CKD may go unnoticed, doctors recommend watching out for these symptoms:
- Being more tired and having less energy
- Trouble concentrating
- Poor appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Muscle cramping at night
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Puffiness around your eyes in the morning
- Dry, itchy skin
- Increased urination
At your annual physical, talk to your doctor about any symptoms you may be experiencing. Your doctor can prescribe a few simple tests to determine how well your kidneys are functioning. He or she can order a urine test to evaluate your Albumin Creatinine Ratio (ACR), which tests for the protein albumin in your urine. Albumin should be in your blood, so its presence in your urine means that your kidneys may not be filtering properly. Your doctor can also order a simple blood test to evaluate your Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR), which estimates how well your kidneys are filtering out creatinine, a muscular waste product, from your blood.
In March this year, the American Kidney Fund will be offering free kidney health screenings, and other nutrition, fitness, and medical referral services around the country to help people keep their kidneys healthy and to identify disease earlier. Check here to find a screening location near you! Check here to find out more about National Kidney Month!