The most fragile of our vital organs, kidneys (we each have 2 of them) serve a slew of important functions! Your Kidneys regulate your blood pressure, keep your mineral in balance, filters waste, directs the production of your red blood cells, activates Vitamin D to keep your bones strong and healthy AND they regulate the fluid level of your entire body. More than 9 in every ten of people with Kidney disease do not know they have a problem!
The risk factors for Kidney disease include things you can do something about and other factors way beyond your control. Being over the age of 60 is one risk factor, along with diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history.
- The Kidney warning signals include:
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Difficult or even painful Urination
- Foamy Urine
- Swelling in the face, ankles, feet, hands or belly
When you see a health provider there are three questions to ask them to assure that your Kidneys are evaluated. The sooner Kidney disease is detected and treatment begins, the more likely it is that further damage can be mitigated.
- Have I been tested for Kidney Disease and How are my Kidneys?
- How often should my Kidneys be checked (based on your family history and your health status)?
- What steps can I take to lower my risk factors? This will examine lifestyle.
None of us can change our family history or our ages, but we can take steps to lower our blood pressure and lessen our risks for Type 2 Diabetes.
Tests for Kidney disease involve a test of urine to look for protein and albumin levels and a blood test to measure blood creatinine which is the build up of waste in your blood.