March - National Kidney Month
March is National Kidney Month, which means it’s time to not only celebrate these awesome organs, but it’s also time to bring more awareness to kidney problems that can occur and how we can take better care of our kidneys.
According the to the National Kidney Foundation, there are six significant ways your kidneys help to keep you healthy. These include:
1. Regulate fluid levels
2. Activate Vitamin D for healthy bones
3. Filter wastes from the blood
4. Directs production of red blood cells
5. Regulate blood pressure
6. Keep blood minerals in balance (National Kidney Foundation)
There are many factors that can play a negative effect on kidney function, such as diabetes, age, family history, and high blood pressure (National Kidney Foundation). The National Kidney Foundation also states that kidney disease can cause a number of health risks including:
- Nerve damage
- Weak bones
- Kidney failure
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular disease
It’s important to meet with a licensed physician if you are experiencing any symptoms involving difficulty urinating, puffy eyes, increased thirst, swelling, fatigue, and the presence of blood or foam in urine (National Kidney Foundation). A blood or urine test may be administered to test kidney function.
Getting tested, reducing pain medicine, cutting down on processed foods, exercising regularly, and controlling blood pressure and diabetes can help in protecting your kidneys (National Kidney Foundation). It’s important to continually monitor your health and become aware of different health risks and prevention methods. Listen to your body and see your licensed care provider regularly.
“For National Kidney Month, Take Five for Your Kidneys.” National Kidney Foundation, 19 July 2019, https://www.kidney.org/news/national-kidney-month-take-five-your-kidneys.
“National Kidney Month.” National Kidney Foundation, 24 Feb. 2016, https://www.kidney.org/content/national-kidney-month.