Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?
The kidneys remove waste products from the blood and keep the correct balance of fluid and salt in the body. Waste and extra fluid are flushed from the body as urine. When the kidneys are damaged, the waste builds up in the blood and can cause symptoms.
One in nine adults in the United States has chronic kidney disease. Another 20 million are at increased risk. Even small losses of kidney function can double a person’s risk of developing heart disease.
Chronic kidney disease usually does not happen suddenly. Small changes occur to the kidneys over several years as the disease progresses from earliest stages to a point when the kidneys fail and dialysis is needed.
The two major causes of kidney disease are:
Approximately 80 percent of patients with chronic kidney disease have one or both of these conditions. Other risk factors include:
You may have chronic kidney disease if you are experiencing:
Advanced signs of the disease include:
Three simple tests identify chronic kidney disease:
If you are diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, learning about the disease can help you keep your kidneys healthy. You may want to ask your doctor the following questions:
To keep your disease in check, you should:
It is important to identify and treat kidney problems early to help prevent the progression of kidney disease to kidney failure.
If you have one of the early or advanced signs, visit a doctor for some simple tests to determine if you have kidney disease.
DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital treats patients with chronic kidney disease in a 12-bed acute hemodialysis unit. Care is provided by 16 board certified nephrologists and dozens of registered nurses with specialized training. Additionally, vascular, cardiovascular, radiology and urology specialists are available for consultation. Each patient receives personal education on medication use and diet.