It’s estimated that 30 million Americans are walking around now with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Are you one of them?
Unfortunately, about 96 percent of those with early kidney disease don’t even know they are at that stage! The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate that one in seven people have it, which is higher than previously thought based on 2011-2014 statistics. Common symptoms, among others, may include:
- Fatigue, or feeling faint or weak frequently
- Swelling in the extremities
- Loss of appetite, nausea, food tasting metallic
- Change in urination patterns
- Decreased mental clarity
Chronic kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are damaged or can’t filter blood as well as they used to when healthy. As a result, the body retains excess fluid and waste from the blood, which can lead to other health issues like vision changes and numbness in the feet. The importance of addressing kidney disease as early as possible is that as damage continues to accumulate, the destruction becomes irreversible. Dialysis or kidney transplant may be the only options at end stages, and neither one is a pleasant choice.
Gender and race also appear to affect how much at risk you may be, according to the CDC study. Women are 16% likely to develop CKD, with men right behind at 13%. Beyond that, it’s the men that are 64% more likely to progress to kidney failure, where either dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed to stay alive.
African-Americans hold the highest race predisposition at 18%, followed by Hispanics (15%) and whites (13%). Highest long-term risk goes to the Hispanics as they are 35 percent more likely than the others to let the CKD progress to kidney failure.
Early Detection And Action Required!
Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and a family history. If you are experiencing one or more of the symptoms of CKD, it’s always best to talk with a doctor to discuss your concerns. Issues like fatigue or poor mental clarity can have many causes, but basic blood work that we take in our office can help easily identify if the kidneys are under stress and not performing properly. Markers such as decreased kidney filtration or elevated urea nitrogen and creatinine will give information on whether it’s at an early enough stage to be able to make changes, or whether you may be needing to make an appointment with a nephrologist.
The good news is that if it’s caught early enough, lifestyle changes can be made to help keep you from progressing to the high-risk category. The programs that we offer to help patients with diabetes, blood pressure and cardiovascular problems also work to help support better kidney function since they are all tied together metabolically. Even those with progressed CKD can benefit from these changes, as long as the proper dietary modifications are adhered to during the process. If better energy and improved quality of life are your goals, this may be just the care that you need if undetected kidney issues are contributing to your health problems.
Give your kidneys a fighting chance! Call for a consultation and assessment today!