Top 5 Things You Should Know About Your Kidneys and Kidney Disease

February 28, 2024

March is National Kidney Awareness Month

As March unfolds, we step into National Kidney Month, a dedicated time to shine a spotlight on the importance of kidney health. Throughout this month, we're committed to deepening our understanding of the intricate world of kidneys—exploring everything from identifying risks and symptoms of kidney-related issues to acknowledging the relentless work our kidneys do to keep us in good shape. AFC Urgent Care Southington has 4 reasons why you should take better care of your kidneys this month in our guide to kidney disease awareness. 

1. Your Kidneys Perform Important Functions

Your kidneys are incredibly important organs in your body, and they do a lot to keep you healthy. Here's what they do:

  • They clean all the blood in your body about every 30 minutes, removing waste and extra fluids.
  • They work hard to get rid of waste, toxins, and extra fluids from your body.
  • They help control your blood pressure, which is important for keeping your heart and blood vessels healthy.
  • They help make red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • They keep your bones strong and healthy.
  • They balance the chemicals in your blood that are crucial for life.

So, you can see, your kidneys do a lot of important jobs to keep you feeling good and healthy every day.

2. Bad Kidneys Lead To Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) happens when the kidneys get damaged and can't clean the blood properly. This causes extra fluid and waste to build up in the body, which can lead to serious problems like heart disease and stroke.

CKD can cause other issues too, like:

  • Having fewer red blood cells (anemia)
  • Getting sick more often
  • Having too much or too little calcium, potassium, and phosphorus in the blood
  • Not feeling hungry or not eating as much
  • Feeling sad or not enjoying life as much

People with high blood pressure, a family history of CKD, diabetes, or who are older than 60 are at a higher risk of suffering from CKD.

3. Chronic Kidney Disease Symptoms To Keep An Eye On

  • Swelling in different parts of the body, like the face, hands, belly, ankles, or feet, making them look puffy.
  • Seeing blood in your pee or having urine that looks foamy.
  • Feeling thirstier than usual.
  • Feeling tired or having less energy.

It's important to know that not everyone with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) will have these symptoms or feel sick. The only sure way to find out if someone has CKD is by doing specific blood and urine tests. 

4. Keeping Your Kidney Healthy

  • Keep your blood pressure in check, aiming for numbers below 140/90 mm Hg. Your doctor can give you personalized advice on what's best for you.
  • If you have diabetes, it's crucial to keep your blood sugar levels within the recommended range to protect your kidneys.
  • Stay active! Regular physical activity can help manage both blood pressure and blood sugar levels, which is great for kidney health.
  • If you're carrying extra weight, working towards a healthy weight can lessen the strain on your kidneys and improve overall health.
  • If you're at risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), make sure to get regular check-ups to catch any issues early.
  • If you've been diagnosed with CKD, consulting with a dietitian can help you create a meal plan that's kidney-friendly and suits your needs.
  • Take your medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. They may also suggest medications that can protect your kidneys.
  • Quit smoking! Smoking can make kidney disease worse, so kicking the habit is a big step towards better kidney health.
  • Consider adding a nephrologist, also known as a kidney doctor, to your healthcare team for specialized care and advice.

By following these simple steps, you can take proactive measures to support your kidney health and overall well-being.

Test Your Blood And Urine For Chronic Kidney Disease At AFC Urgent Care Southington

If you're feeling any of the symptoms above, or need help with testing for Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), AFC Urgent Care Rocky Hill is here for you. We provide thorough blood and urine tests to check how well your kidneys are functioning. We're committed to giving you great care and making things easy for you.

You can visit us any day of the week, and you don't need an appointment – just walk in whenever it's convenient for you. If you prefer, you can also book an appointment online and pay for your visit easily using our simple online system. With just a few clicks, you'll be all set, making your visit with us quick and hassle-free, tailored to your needs. Just a friendly reminder that we accept most insurances!

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