Did you know that March was National Kidney Month? This is a great time to think about the health of your kidneys. The kidneys play a vital role in overall health by assisting your body infiltrating your blood. These two small organs are located just under the rib cage and to each side of the spinal cord. Over the course of just one day, the kidneys are able to filter around 150 quarts of blood creating urine, the fluid consisting of water and other waste byproducts filtered through the blood. Urine then makes its way through the ureters to the bladder and then excreted by the body.
Your kidneys help ensure that the blood composition of your body is in working order. They also assist the body by making sure your electrolytes are under control, create hormones that help your blood pressure stay regulated, your bones healthy, and assist in the creation of red blood cells. These organs are incredibly important for overall health which is why March is a great time to visit your physician and make sure that they are in proper working order.
So, why are we so concerned with the health of your kidneys? The answer is simple, 1 out of every 7 Americans will develop CKD, Chronic Kidney Disease, in their lifetime. As renal function begins to decline over time, the elderly are at risk for developing kidney disease. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and familial history of the disease. Here at Champion Home Health Care, Melbourne, FL’s premier home health care facility, we are capable of providing a wide range of in-home health care services to keep the seniors in Brevard County at home for longer. We truly care about seniors, and their health and well-being is our priority. This is why we are discussing this important health concern.
According to Kidney.org, kidney disease affects at least 30 million people in the United States and many do not even know they have a problem. This is because kidney disease often goes undiagnosed until the disease is advanced. There may be some symptoms and these consist of:
- Cramped muscles, especially at night
- Swollen extremities
- Excessive need to urinate, often at night
- For a more exhaustive list see here.
The great news is that a simple urine and blood test can alert your doctor to possible kidney problems. A urine analysis will test for the amount of albumin, a protein that should not be present in urine. This is called an ACR, albumin to creatinine ratio test. A blood test called the GFR, glomerular filtration rate, will determine if excessive creatinine is in your blood, a sign that your kidneys are not filtering properly. Once you know your numbers, you will know where you stand with regards to kidney tests. What are you waiting for? Schedule an appointment to check your stats and pay attention to anything that feels unusual for you. Your kidneys will thank you for it.