Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) impacts 1 in 7 Americans, but the disease often goes undiagnosed until the kidneys fail. A simple blood and urine screen by a primary care doctor can easily detect the disease. Here are the top 4 reasons to ask a doctor to check your kidney function.
More than 70 percent of all cases of chronic kidney disease are caused by diabetes or high blood pressure. If you have either condition, including early signs of heart disease, your doctor should closely monitor your kidney function. Both conditions
put strain on your kidneys and, if not properly controlled, can accelerate the loss of kidney function.
People whose family members have CKD are at much higher risk of kidney disease. In fact, some studies suggest that 50 percent of people with a family history of end stage renal disease (ESRD) may have CKD themselves. Genetic kidney diseases, such as polycystic syndromes and Alport disease, are also well known to be passed on to other family members. And now new studies are uncovering many more genes that are directly linked to kidney disease
The National Kidney Foundation urges people over 60 years old to be screened every year for chronic kidney disease. That’s because research shows kidney disease is more prevalent in older people. One study demonstrated that almost 40 percent of seniors over age 60 have CKD. The likelihood of CKD increases with age and the addition of other conditions such as high blood pressure.
If you experience symptoms of kidney disease, it may mean the disease is already advancing beyond the early stages and requires immediate screening and treatment. These symptoms can include the following: changes in urination, fatigue, itching, swelling in the extremities, puffy eyes, shortness of breath, poor sleep and localized back pain near your kidneys.
Sources: 2018 USRDS Annual Data Report, National Kidney Foundation
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