Kidney disease is sometime considered silent, because symptoms are pretty subtle. One in seven adults in the U.S. have some level of kidney disease, but sadly, only one in ten people with kidney disease are even aware they have the condition.
This creates a significant health risk because patients aren’t getting the care they need. There are steps individuals can take to help slow the progression of kidney disease. By the time symptoms become apparent, damage is often irreversible.
Taking care of your kidneys, however, is important for overall health. The kidneys affect the function of other organs such as your heart and lungs. Uncontrolled diabetes, which is the leading cause of kidney disease, can lead to blindness, poor circulation, loss of limbs, and kidney failure. This results in the need for renal replacement therapies such as a kidney transplant or dialysis treatments.
If kidney disease progression is prevented or slowed, a patient can enjoy better health and lower healthcare costs.
People may be at risk for developing chronic kidney disease if there is diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, or a family history of kidney disease. Additionally, certain ethnic groups, obesity, or those who take medications that can be harmful to kidneys such as ibuprofen and naproxen, there is an increased risk of developing kidney disease.
It’s important to know that having kidney disease does not mean you will always progress to kidney failure. That’s why awareness, screening and treatment are vital. There are many steps you can take to maintain and/or improve kidney function. Talk to your doctor if you are at risk for kidney disease!