March is National Kidney Month.
What You Need to Know to Keep Your Kidney's Healthy.
New York Nephrologist, Arthur M. Kozin, MD, of Rockland Renal Associates and on staff at Nyack Hospital, shares information on how to keep your kidneys healthy.
With more than 20 million or one in 10 American adults having some level of chronic kidney disease, the need for proper kidney health education is crucial. According to Dr. Kozin, “Early kidney disease does not usually present any signs or symptoms. It isn’t until the later stages of kidney disease that it becomes more obvious there is a problem. As with many conditions, prevention is the best medicine. It is basically a good practice to adopt a lifestyle that promotes good kidney health.”
Your kidneys serve an extremely important function - filtering your blood and removing excess salt, water and waste to make urine. They also play an integral part in controlling blood pressure. When kidneys are damaged, water and wastes can build up in the body. Untreated, kidney disease is dangerous and even potentially deadly.
In most people with kidney disease, damage to the kidneys is caused by diabetes, high blood pressure or medications. The damage occurs slowly, over many years.
If you have diabetes or high blood pressure, you should have blood and urine tests to check your kidney function. If kidney disease is caught early, it can be treated. The blood test checks your creatinine and glomerular filtration rate, which indicates how the kidneys are functioning. A urine test will check the level of protein in the urine. Too much protein in the urine may indicate kidney disease. A person with late-stage kidney disease may experience an exacerbation in blood pressure or have the need to urinate more frequently, particularly at night. Other symptoms that may accompany frequent urination include a metallic taste in the mouth, itching and hiccups. Advanced kidney disease also can cause puffiness around the eyes, and swelling of the hands and feet.
The best way to keep your kidneys healthy if you have diabetes or high blood pressure is to keep those conditions under control. Other tips for keeping your kidneys healthy:
Taking steps to protect your kidneys will help the rest of your body. By making healthy lifestyle changes, and working with your health care team to control your diabetes and high blood pressure, you can keep your kidneys in good shape for many years to come.
About Nyack Hospital
Nyack Hospital is a 375-bed community acute care medical and surgical hospital located in Rockland County, NY. Founded in 1895, it is a member of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare System, an affiliate of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, and has partnered with Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine providing clinical rotations to third-year medical students. Its mission is to provide competent, innovative and accessible emergency and acute care services to the residents of Rockland County and surrounding areas.