If you’re concerned about your kidney health, there are some things you can do to check for potential problems. Here’s what you need to know.
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Your kidneys are hard at work every day, filtering and ridding your body of toxins and extra fluid. Maintaining kidney health is essential to keeping your whole body healthy. Here are some simple ways to keep your kidneys functioning properly.
If you have any concerns about your kidney health, be sure to talk to your doctor.
What are the kidneys?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs, each about the size of a fist. They are located near the middle of your back, just below your rib cage.
Your kidneys filter wastes and excess fluids from your blood and send them to your urinary tract to be excreted. They also help regulate blood pressure, red blood cell production, and bone health.
Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are not able to function properly. This can be due to a variety of reasons, including infection, injury, or a genetic disorder. Kidney disease can lead to a build-up of toxins and fluid in the body, as well as a decrease in red blood cells and an increase in blood pressure.
There are two main types of kidney disease: acute kidney disease and chronic kidney disease.
Acute kidney disease is usually caused by an infection or injury that prevents the kidneys from functioning properly. This can be treated with antibiotics or other medications, and often resolves itself once the underlying cause has been resolved.
Chronic kidney disease is a long-term condition that slowly worsens over time. It is usually caused by high blood pressure or diabetes, and can eventually lead to kidney failure. Treatment for chronic kidney disease typically focuses on managing the underlying cause (such as controlling hypertension or diabetes), as well as managing symptoms with medications.
How do the kidneys work?
The kidneys are two bean-shaped organs that sit on either side of your spine in the back of your abdomen. They filter your blood and remove excess fluid, minerals, and wastes from your body. The main job of the kidneys is to filter waste products from the blood and excrete them in the urine.
The kidneys also help regulate blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production. They also produce hormones that influence blood pressure, red blood cell production, and calcium metabolism.
What are the signs and symptoms of kidney disease?
The signs and symptoms of kidney disease can vary depending on the type of kidney disease you have, how severe it is, and how long you’ve had it.
Early kidney disease may have no signs or symptoms. But as kidney disease progresses, it can cause weakness, fatigue, and other symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of kidney disease include:
-Loss of appetite
-Nausea or vomiting
-Weight loss or gain
-Decreased urination or no urination at all
-Swollen ankles, feet, or legs (edema)
-Persistent itching (pruritus)
-High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s not controlled
-Blood in your urine (hematuria)
If you have any of these signs or symptoms, see your doctor right away.
What are the risk factors for kidney disease?
There are many risk factors for kidney disease. Some of these include:
– high blood pressure
– a family history of kidney disease
– being over the age of 60
– being of African, Asian or Aboriginal descent
– having had a kidney transplant or dialysis
How is kidney disease diagnosed?
Your doctor can usually tell if you have kidney disease based on your medical history, a physical exam, and some simple tests.
If you have risk factors for kidney disease, your doctor may recommend a urine test to check for protein in your urine or a blood test to measure the level of creatinine in your blood. Creatinine is a waste product that’s removed from your body by your kidneys. If you have too much creatinine in your blood, it may be because your kidneys aren’t working as well as they should.
Your doctor may also recommend additional tests if you have kidney disease, such as:
-A 24-hour urine sample test. This test measures how much creatinine and other waste products are removed from your body in a day.
-An ultrasound exam of your kidneys. This test uses sound waves to create images of your kidneys to look for changes in their size or structure.
-A CT scan or MRI of your kidneys. These tests use X-rays and magnetic fields to create detailed images of your kidneys.
How is kidney disease treated?
Your kidneys are important organs that help to filter your blood and remove waste products from your body. Kidney disease is a condition that can cause your kidneys to become damaged and may eventually lead to kidney failure.
There are a number of different treatments for kidney disease, depending on the severity of the condition. In some cases, lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and eating a healthy diet may be recommended. In other cases, medications may be prescribed to help slow the progression of kidney damage. In severe cases, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be necessary.
If you have kidney disease, it is important to work with your healthcare team to develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
What are the complications of kidney disease?
Kidney disease can cause a number of health complications, including:
-High blood pressure
– weak bones
-decreased sex drive
What is the outlook for people with kidney disease?
The outlook for people with kidney disease varies depending on the stage of the kidney disease and the underlying cause.
In general, early detection and treatment of kidney disease can help slow the progression of the kidney disease and improve outcomes. However, once kidney function is lost, it is not possible to reverse the damage.
There are treatments available that can help people manage their kidney disease and improve their quality of life, even when kidney function is severely reduced. These treatments include dialysis and transplantation.
Where can I get more information about kidney disease?
There are many different types of kidney diseases and each one can progress differently. Kidney disease can be divided into five main stages, with stage 1 being the least severe and stage 5 being the most severe.
If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, it is important to talk to your doctor about your treatment options. There are a number of different ways to treat kidney disease, and the treatment that is right for you will depend on the severity of your disease.
There are a number of different organizations that can provide you with more information about kidney disease, including the National Kidney Foundation and the American Association of Kidney Patients. You can also find more information about kidney disease on the website of the National Institutes of Health.