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March 2, 2020

Are Your Kidneys Failing You? Seven Things to Know About Chronic Kidney Disease

Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

Kidneys have a thankless job. Despite regulating fluid levels, filtering waste from the blood and monitoring blood pressure, kidneys are hardworking, blue collar organs that don’t get a lot of credit for their contributions. This helps explain why most of the 37 million Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD) have no idea they have it, but it doesn’t add up. Chronic kidney disease affects one in seven adults and causes more deaths than breast or prostate cancer. Here’s what you need to know: 
 
1.     Diabetes and high blood pressure account for 75% of CKD cases. 
2.     Family history, age, heart disease and smoking are other risk factors. 
3.     One in three adults are at risk for CKD. 
4.     The best treatment is early intervention.  
5.     Once kidneys fail, there’s no repairing them. 
6.     Twelve people die every day waiting for a kidney. 
7.     Nearly 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant list.  
 
CKD means your kidneys are damaged. By the time you notice signs your kidneys are failing, it may be too late. Talk to your health care provider about your CKD risks, especially if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Your kidneys are easy to ignore until they give up, but CKD doesn’t have to be deadly.