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March was Kidney Disease Month

Posted Mar 31 2011 8:56am

It doesn't matter that it's almost over, what matters is that you know something about kidney disease because poorly controlled diabetes is a major contributor. 

Chronic kidney disease is a diabetes complication that usually takes 10 or more years to develop, and if your blood sugar and blood pressure are not well managed, you're at risk.

The kidneys sit just under the rib cage in the middle of your back. Their job is to filter waste and water from the blood, regulate blood pressure and maintain the proper balance of salt and minerals in the blood. When your kidneys are impaired wastes build up in the bloodstream making you feel sick and lead to high blood pressure, weak bones and nerve damage. 

Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms so you should get a blood test every year that  indicates how well your kidneys are working. You should also have your urine tested to check for albumin, a protein that leaks into the kidneys when there is damage.

Symptoms you may begin to feel as kidney disease progresses, is more frequent urination,  particularly in the middle of the night, your urine may be foamy or bubbly, it may contain blood or you may feel pressure while urinating. Your may have swelling in your legs, feet, face or hands, feel fatigued, have a rash or severe itching, nauseaus or vomit, feel short of breath or more .

While you're calling your doctor to make an appointment for your tests, you can take the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Quiz!  right now to see if you're at risk. 

Kidney disease is usually treated with an ACE inhibitor or ARB to slow damage. You may also need to cut down on eating protein. Of course, kidney dialysis is used when the disease is severe. Check here for more information.

Just looking into this, I realize the more you can do to avoid kidney disease, the more you should. Now I can't wait to see what April is national month for...

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