Millions of Americans May Be at Risk for Kidney Disease;
SIMPLE BLOOD TESTS CAN DETECT YOUR RISK
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What you don't know can't hurt, right? Wrong,
says the National Kidney Foundation. There are times when ignorance can cost you your health. In fact, four percent of the entire U.S. population is currently at risk for kidney disease, and most people don't even know that they are in danger. A recent national survey reported that 11 million Americans have an elevated blood level of a waste product called creatine. Healthy kidneys remove creatine-- a waste product from the normal activity of your muscles--but when kidney function slows down, the level of creatine in the blood goes up.

During March, National Kidney Month, the foundation wants to make the public aware that a small elevation in creatine may be an early sign of kidney disease, occuring at a stage when treatments can help prevent kidney disease from advancing to a more serious problem. When kidnet disease progresses to the stage where 85 to 90 percent of function is lost, dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant is needed to sustain life.

"Unfortunately, kidney disease may be silent for many years," said William F. Keane, MD, president of the National Kidney Foundation. "Many people may not be aware that they are losing kidney function until their disease reaches an advacned stage. For this reason, it is important to make sure your doctor includes tests of your kidney functions, such as your creatine level, in your regular physical examination," Dr. Keane said.

Other important tests of kidney function that should be part of your physical checkup are the blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test and a test for protein in the urine. Urea nitrogen is another waste product that builds up in your blood when your kidneys are not functioning properly.

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LEARN THE EARLY WARNING SIGNS OF KIDNEY DISEASE:


  • High blood pressure
  • Pain in small of back
  • Puffy eyes, swollen hands and feet
  • Bloody urine
  • Burning during urination
  • More frequent urination
  • National Kidney Foundation
    of Northeast New York

    23 Computer Drive East Albany, NY 12205-1134
    1-518-458-9697 1-800-999-9697