National Kidney Month



March is National Kidney Month. An estimated 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD). CKD is a condition where the kidneys are damaged and cannot filter blood the way they should. The kidneys filter all the blood in the body every 30 minutes. Additionally, the kidneys remove wastes, toxins, and excess fluid in the body. Having healthy, properly functioning kidneys is crucial to one’s health. CKD can range in seriousness. It is important to receive treatment as CKD can cause other health problems, including heart disease and stroke.


Other health problems of CKD

 
  • Anemia

  • Increased amount of infections

  • Loss of appetite

  • Depression

  • Low calcium levels and high potassium and phosphorus levels in the blood


Treatment

 

Treatment is important to prevent kidney failure. If kidney failure occurs, dialysis or a kidney transplant is needed. Not all patients with CKD will progress to kidney failure. Lifestyle changes and medicine can control CKD. It is important to get tested for CKD yearly and see a doctor regularly.


Symptoms

 

Many patients with CKD may not notice symptoms or feel ill. A specific blood and urine test are needed to be diagnosed with CKD.

  • Swelling of the face, hands, abdomen, ankles, and feet

  • Blood in urine

  • Puffy eyes

  • Painful urination

  • Increased thirst

  • Fatigue


Risk Factors

 
  • Diabetes

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart disease

  • Family history of CKD

  • Obesity


CKD Statistics According to the CDC

 
  • Kidney diseases are a leading cause of death in the United States.

  • About 37 million US adults are estimated to have CKD, and most are undiagnosed.

  • 40% of people with severely reduced kidney function (not on dialysis) are not aware of having CKD.

  • Every 24 hours, 360 people begin dialysis treatment for kidney failure.

  • In the United States, diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of kidney failure, accounting for 3 out of 4 new cases.

  • In 2019, treating Medicare beneficiaries with CKD cost $87.2 billion, and treating people with ESRD cost an additional $37.3 billion.


References

1. “Chronic Kidney Disease Basics.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Feb. 2022, https://www.cdc.gov/kidneydisease/basics.html.

2. “National Kidney Month 2022.” National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/community-health-outreach/national-kidney-month.

3. “National Kidney Month.” National Kidney Foundation, National Kidney Foundation, 24 Feb. 2016, https://www.kidney.org/content/national-kidney-month.

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