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National Kidney Month: Keep yours healthy

Thursday, March 1, 2018

By: Jeff Ash


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National Kidney Month: Keep yours healthy

 

Your kidneys rarely get much thought, yet they do a lot to keep you healthy.

 

March is National Kidney Month, time to consider that those two humble kidneys:

 

  • Filter waste from the blood
  • Regulate salt, potassium and acid content in the body
  • Remove drugs from the body
  • Regulate the body's fluids
  • Regulate blood pressure
  • Activate Vitamin D for strong, healthy bones
  • Direct the production of red blood cells

Kidneys are the size of a fist. They’re located in the lower back.

 

Take care of your kidneys. Drink plenty of fluid, making sure your urine is light yellow. Stay fit. Eat healthy. Keep your blood pressure under control. Stop smoking. Drink alcohol in moderation.

 

People who may develop kidney problems have risk factors that include being over 60, having diabetes and/or high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney problems. Symptoms of kidney problems include:

 

  • Swelling in the face, hands, abdomen, ankles or feet
  • Blood in the urine, or foamy urine, or difficult, painful urination
  • Puffy eyes
  • Increased thirst
  • Fatigue

Two tests check on your kidneys. Best is a blood test that measures the glomerular filtration rate, or how effectively your kidneys remove wastes from the blood. A urine test measures the amount of albumin, a protein, excreted in the urine.

 

Left untreated, kidney disease can cause heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, kidney failure, nerve damage, weak bones, anemia or a low red blood cell count.

 

The specialists of Aurora BayCare Urological Surgeons treat a variety of kidney conditions, most commonly kidney stones. They perform cancer and other kidney surgeries, including reconstruction for congenital blockage.

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