National Kidney Awareness Month: A Closer Look at Your Kidney Health

February 27, 2024

March Illuminates National Kidney Awareness Month

March is the time to turn our attention to National Kidney Awareness Month, a period dedicated to understanding the intricate workings of our kidneys and their vital role in our overall health. This month offers us a chance to dive deep into the complexities of kidney function, from recognizing potential risks and symptoms of kidney-related conditions to appreciating the relentless efforts our kidneys exert to keep us healthy and vibrant.

AFC Urgent Care New Bedford is dedicated to raising awareness about kidney health by providing an informative guide that sheds light on the importance of these essential organs and the consequences of neglecting their well-being.

Exploring the Essential Functions of Your Kidneys

Your kidneys are powerhouse organs, responsible for numerous crucial functions that are essential for your health and vitality. These functions include:

  • Blood Filtration: Every thirty minutes, your kidneys diligently filter all the blood in your body, removing waste, toxins, and excess fluids to maintain a clean bloodstream.
  • Waste Elimination: Your kidneys work tirelessly to eliminate waste and toxins from your body, ensuring its cleanliness and proper function.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation: Playing a pivotal role in regulating blood pressure, your kidneys contribute significantly to the health of your cardiovascular system.
  • Red Blood Cell Production: Actively involved in producing red blood cells, your kidneys ensure efficient oxygen transportation throughout your body.
  • Bone Health: In addition to their other functions, your kidneys also play a role in maintaining the strength and health of your bones.

Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) occurs when the kidneys sustain damage, impairing their ability to effectively cleanse the blood. This condition can lead to the accumulation of waste and fluids in the body, increasing the risk of severe complications such as cardiovascular diseases. Shockingly, approximately 15% of adults in the US, roughly 37 million individuals, are affected by CKD. Several factors, including hypertension, a familial predisposition to CKD, diabetes, and advancing age, elevate the risk of developing this condition.

Recognizing the Signs of Chronic Kidney Disease

Symptoms of CKD may include:

  • Swelling in various body parts, including the face, hands, abdomen, ankles, and feet.
  • Presence of blood or foamy urine.
  • Increased thirst.
  • Fatigue.

However, it is essential to note that not all individuals with CKD exhibit symptoms, underscoring the significance of routine check-ups and specific diagnostic tests to confirm the presence of the condition.

Strategies for Preserving Kidney Health

Incorporating the following practices into your lifestyle can help maintain optimal kidney health:

  • Maintain blood pressure below 140/90 mm Hg.
  • Manage blood sugar levels within the recommended range for individuals with diabetes.
  • Engage in regular physical activity to regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • Maintain a healthy weight to alleviate strain on your kidneys.
  • Undergo routine screenings, especially if you are at risk of CKD.
  • Consult with a registered dietitian to devise a kidney-friendly meal plan following a CKD diagnosis.
  • Adhere to prescribed medications and discuss the potential benefits of kidney-protective medications with your healthcare provider.
  • Quit smoking to mitigate the risk of kidney disease and enhance the efficacy of blood pressure medications.

AFC Urgent Care New Bedford: Your Partner in Kidney Health

Should you experience symptoms suggestive of CKD or require diagnostic testing, AFC Urgent Care New Bedford stands ready to provide comprehensive blood and urine tests to assess kidney function accurately. Our facility welcomes walk-ins seven days a week, with no appointment necessary. Alternatively, you can conveniently schedule an appointment online and benefit from our user-friendly online payment system. We accept most insurance plans, ensuring accessibility and convenience for all individuals seeking to prioritize their kidney health.

At AFC Urgent Care New Bedford, we are committed to delivering exceptional care and supporting you on your journey to optimal kidney health. Your well-being is our utmost priority.

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