Thursday, May 26, 2011

Are you Taking Care of Your Kidneys?

If you or someone close to you has been diagnosed with kidney disease, you might be interested in a webpage that outlines “10 things you can do to protect your kidneys." This was created by the National Kidney Disease Education Program for National Kidney Month, which happens every year in March.

What is kidney disease all about? That’s explained in Number 6 on the list, where experts said that a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease means that your two kidneys aren’t filtering blood like they should, which can cause wastes to build up in your body. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of chronic kidney disease. The condition always sets off alarms because kidney disease can lead to heart disease, and vice versa.

More than 20 million adults have chronic kidney disease and an estimated 16.3 million -- or roughly 7 percent of adults — have heart disease. And over 7.1 million people have both, according to a media release from the National Institutes of Health. Patients whose kidneys fail must face dialysis or a kidney transplant.

The site includes a downloadable brochure as well as a chart that you can take with you to your health care practitioner whenever it’s time to track your blood pressure, your glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and the presence of albumin -- common measures for how well your kidneys are filtering wastes.

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