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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

CMO Message - All About Kidneys

The kidneys are the unsung heroes of keeping our bodies functioning properly. Every 30 minutes, these fist-sized organs filter all our blood to remove waste, toxins, and excess fluid. They are also important for controlling blood pressure, red blood cell production, bone health, and electrolyte and mineral balance. Kidney disease might not get as much attention as heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. However, kidney failure is life-threatening and can lead to heart disease, stroke, anemia, weakened bones, dangerous changes in electrolyte levels, decreased immunity, and impaired consciousness. In the last stage of kidney disease when they stop working, people might need dialysis or kidney transplant in order to survive.

The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. Because these conditions are so prevalent, kidney disease actually affects 1 out of 7 Americans and many might not even know it. After years of these conditions, your kidneys can deteriorate but you might not experience any symptoms until the damage is severe. That’s why it’s so important to ask your doctor whether you should be screened for kidney disease, especially if you have any chronic conditions or family history of kidney disease. In addition, if you have any symptoms like blood in your urine, problems with urination, or swelling of your ankles or legs, these could be signs of kidney issues so talk to your healthcare provider or call our UnitedAg Health & Wellness Centers.

In the earliest stages, kidney disease can be managed and might not necessarily lead to kidney failure requiring dialysis or transplant. Good nutrition, regular physical activity, staying properly hydrated, controlling any chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension, and avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol can keep your kidneys healthy. Our Health & Wellness Centers are here to help you with these lifestyle changes so that you and your kidneys are as healthy as possible.


Author(s)

  • Rosemary Ku, MD/MBA/MPA