Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Catch Kidney Disease Early Your kidneys aren ’ thyroxine very big—each is about the size of your fist—but they do crucial solve. They keep you healthy by maintaining just the right balance of water system and other substances inside your consistency .
unfortunately, if your kidneys start to malfunction, you might not realize it for a long while. Kidney disease normally doesn ’ t make you feel sick until the problem becomes unplayful and irreversible. March is National Kidney Month, a perfect time to learn more about how to keep your kidneys goodly and how to catch problems early .
Your kidneys are 2 red, bean-shaped organs located on either side of your spine in the middle of your back. Their main job is to filter your blood. Each kidney contains about a million bantam filters that can process around 40 gallons of fluid every day—about enough to fill a house ’ mho hot urine heater. When blood passes through the kidney, the filters sift and hold onto the substances your body might need, such as certain nutrients and much of the water. Harmful wastes and extra water and nutrients are routed to the nearby bladder and flushed away as urine.
Reading: Keep Your Kidneys Healthy
Your kidneys besides produce several hormonesMolecules sent through the bloodstream to signal another part of the body to grow or react a certain way.. These hormones help to control your blood blackmail, make loss rake cells and activate vitamin D, which keeps your bones strong .
We all lose a little of our kidney officiate as we get older. People can even survive with good one kidney if they donate the other to a friend or family member .
But when kidney affair drops because of an underlying kidney disease, it ’ south something to be concerned about. Toxins and supernumerary water can build up in your rake. Falling hormone production can cause early problems. About 1 in 10 adults countrywide, or about 20 million people, have at least some signs of kidney damage .
There are different types of kidney disease. Most mint both kidneys at the same fourth dimension, harming the bantam filters—called nephrons—and reducing their percolate ability. When damage to nephrons happens cursorily, much because of wound or poisoning, it ’ randomness known as acute accent kidney injury. It ’ s more park, though, for nephrons to worsen lento and mutely for years or even decades. This is known as chronic kidney disease .
“ Most people have few or no symptoms until chronic kidney disease is very advanced, ” says Dr. Andrew Narva, a kidney specialist at NIH. “ You can lose up to three-fourths of your kidney function and basically have no symptoms. ”
Chronic kidney disease can strike people of any slipstream, but african Americans are specially at risk. african Americans besides tend to have eminent rates of diabetes and gamey blood atmospheric pressure, the 2 leave causes of kidney disease. other gamble factors for kidney disease include center disease and a family history of kidney failure—a severe form of kidney disease .
If you have these risk factors, it ’ south authoritative to be screened for kidney disease, ” says Narva. “ That normally involves simple testing ground tests : a urine test to look for kidney damage, and a lineage quiz to measure how well the kidneys are working. ”
The urine examination checks for a protein called albumin, which isn ’ triiodothyronine routinely detected when your kidneys are healthy. The blood test checks your GFR—glomerular filtration pace. GFR is an estimate of your kidney ’ s filtering ability. A GFR below 60 is a gestural of chronic kidney disease. A GFR below 15 is described as kidney failure .
“ I tell my patients they should know their numbers, ” says NIH kidney expert Dr. Jeffrey B. Kopp. “ We normally can not cure chronic kidney disease, but if we catch it early, we can slow down its progression. ”
Without discussion, kidney disease frequently gets worse. If your GFR drops below 15, you may feel tired and weak, with nausea, vomiting and itching. By that point, you may need a kidney transplant or dialysis. It ’ s a good estimate to talk with your doctor about the hypothesis of these therapies long before they ’ re needed. It takes time to understand your options, and it ’ s easier to figure things out when you ’ rhenium feel healthy .
“ In general, the preferable therapy for kidney failure is to have a kidney transplant, but not everyone can have a transplant, ” says Kopp. Some obstacles include long wait lists for healthy kidneys and finding a well-matched donor .
dialysis is a treatment that filters wastes and water from the lineage, allowing patients with kidney failure to feel well and continue with everyday activities. NIH kidney specialist Dr. Paul Kimmel leads an NIH program to improve the lives of patients on dialysis. “ Although dialysis is a life-saving therapy, it can be challenging for patients and families, ” Kimmel says. “ We ’ ra encouraging researchers to explore advanced ways to improve the quality of life and long-run consequence for these patients. ”
You can take many steps to avoid or delay reaching the point of kidney bankruptcy. The best matter you can do is control your blood coerce. A healthy life style, including physical natural process and a heart-healthy diet, can help to normalize blood atmospheric pressure and besides behind kidney disease.
“ Most Americans eat more sodium and protein than the body needs. It ’ s your kidneys ’ occupation to filter and get rid of the leftovers 24 hours a day, 7 days a workweek, ” says registered dietician Theresa Kuracina, who advises NIH on kidney health and nutrition. goodly kidneys can broadly handle the workload. “ But if you have kidney damage, besides much sodium and protein can have a negative effect, ” Kuracina says. “ We broadly recommend eating less sodium and more fruits, vegetables and solid grains. To reduce fats, choose lean meats and low-fat or nonfat dairy products. ”
If you have kidney disease, your health care provider may recommend extra changes to your diet. And if life style changes aren ’ triiodothyronine enough to slow down kidney wrong, your doctor may prescribe medications to reduce rake atmospheric pressure, control lineage glucose and lower your cholesterol .
Don ’ t wait to take the first step to keep your kidneys healthy. Talk to your health care provider about your kidneys, and ask if you should be tested for kidney disease .