March is designated National Kidney Month to raise awareness about the prevention and early detection of kidney disease. Annual screenings are recommended for individuals at high risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD). Adults with diabetes or high blood pressure have a higher risk of developing CKD than those without these diseases. Approximately 1 of 3 adults with diabetes and 1 of 5 adults with high blood pressure has CKD. Other risk factors for chronic kidney disease include cardiovascular disease, obesity, high cholesterol, lupus, and a family history of kidney disease. The risk of developing CKD also increases with age and is most common among adults over age 70. Throughout National Kidney Month, the National Kidney Foundation is offering free kidney health screenings through the KEEP Healthy program. To locate a KEEP Healthy screening near you, visit www.kidney.org/keephealthy.
Kidney diseases are the 9th leading cause of death in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that more than 20 million adults in the U.S. may have chronic kidney disease. Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which your kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood as well as healthy kidneys. Because of this, wastes from the blood remain in the body and may cause other health problems.
Early on, people tend not to feel ill or notice any symptoms. The only way to find out for sure whether you have chronic kidney disease is through specific blood and urine tests. Once detected, CKD can be treated with medicine and lifestyle changes, including making healthier choices about what you eat and drink and getting more exercise.