Kidneys are complex organs, and when they’re not working properly they can cause a variety of health problems, particularly in the elderly. And so, in honor of National Kidney Month, we’d like to take a moment to share some information about kidney disease with our readers.
Your kidneys filter your blood, regulate blood pressure, and have a hand in red blood cell production. High blood pressure, diabetes, frequent urinary tract infections, and even incontinence can all be caused by kidney disease. Though symptoms can be hard to detect, more than 26 million Americans suffer from some form of kidney disease.
If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or a family history of kidney disease, you may be at risk for kidney disease. A healthy diet and regular exercise may help decrease your risk of kidney disease, but regular checkups from your doctor are essential. Doctors can check your urine for excess protein and glucose which are key indicators of kidney problems. Fasting blood tests can also check your glucose levels. Creatinine tests can analyze your blood to assess kidney function. All of these are routine tests that can show the early signs of kidney disease.
Older folks may notice more frequent urinary tract infections, incontinence, and inflammation or swelling of the kidneys. These are all signs that your kidney function has been compromised. If you experience any of those symptoms, talk to your doctor immediately to schedule a kidney health screening.
Kidney disease affects millions of Americans, and warning signs are often easy to miss. Make sure to have your kidneys screened regularly, regardless of your risk factors. With early detection, you and your kidneys can stay happy and healthy well into the future.
Want to learn more about caring for your kidneys? Check out the additional resources section of our FAQ page or give us a call today to speak to one of our caregivers.