March is National Kidney Month. This month, we want to take some time to focus on kidney disease. It’s a widespread condition, but many people are lacking vital information about the illness including warning signs and how it affects the body. As you read over this important information remember, the best way to help those suffering from kidney disease is by registering to be an organ donor! Your donation could save the life of someone suffering from kidney disease. If you were the one suffering, you would want somebody to donate to keep you!
Kidney disease should be detected as early as possible for an excellent chance of treatment and recovery. Some of the symptoms you should look out for include:
• Painful urination or difficulty urinating
• Foamy urine
• Blood in urine
• Unexplained swelling in extremities, face, or abdomen
• Constantly puffy eyes
• Extreme fatigue
• Excessive thirst
Many of these symptoms can be warning signs of more than just kidney disease, so try not to worry until you’ve visited the doctor and received a urine or blood test. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t hesitate to visit your doctor after noticing the presence of symptoms!
How Kidney Disease Affects the Body
Your kidneys have many important jobs. That means that when kidney disease strikes, it affects your body in more ways than you’d expect. Nerve damage and weak bones can occur as the minerals circulating in your blood aren’t properly activated and distributed. High blood pressure can lead to increased risk of heart attack or stroke in more severe cases of kidney disease. A low red blood cell count, also known as anemia, is a very common side effect.
Ultimately, unmanaged kidney disease will lead to kidney failure.
There are treatment options available to slow the progression of kidney disease, including blood transfusions and dialysis. Dialysis works by using a machine to manually filter your blood, doing the job that your kidneys would typically do if they were healthy and functioning. A kidney transplant is the most effective treatment option available for those suffering from kidney disease, but weighing the pros and cons of the procedure is necessary before any decisions are made. Even if the doctor and patient agree that a transplant is the best option, the patient has to wait to find a donor that’s a match.
During this national kidney, month take some time to be grateful to your organs for all that they do and bring attention to the importance of kidney disease.