Ana Theresa Williams BSN RN
Some indi-viduals are misled about what kidney disease is all about. They think it is something that you cannot tell why you had it.
The Na-tional Kidney Foundation said not everyone who is at risk will get kidney disease. You can help protect your kidneys by eating healthy, getting regular exercise, controlling blood pressure and blood sugar, keeping a healthy weight, quitting smoking, and overusing no pain medications like ibuprofen. All these steps will help you keep your kidneys healthy and lessen your chances of getting kidney disease.
Other people are not aware that the two most common causes of kidney problem include diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure. Both can harm your kidneys by causing damage to the tiny blood vessels in your kidneys. Many other conditions can actually harm the kidneys. These are heart disease, glomerulonephritis or a disease that causes inflammation in the kidneys, and diseases you are born with like polycystic kidney disease that cause cysts to form in the kidneys.
Do you know that kidney disease is a progressive disease? In its early stages, it is normally managed with exercise, diet and medication.
With that kind of approach, most people can slow or stop the progression of such kidney problem and then they will enjoy a normal lifestyle. That’s the reason why most kidney doctors or known as nephrologists are always emphasizing during their layman’s forum in the city to always find and treat kidney disease early.
But if you reported it too late or you consulted the doctor too late, the kidney problem that you have will get worse and progress to kidney failure. This is the time that you need dialysis or a kidney transplant.
You might also think that kidney disease is a very rare condition. When in fact, one in seven American adults today is living with some level of kidney disease. In the Philippines, it increased from 4,000 in 2004 to 23,000 cases with kidney failure in 2013. And mind you, it’s still counting.
So, what could be the problem behind this condition? As I’ve said, if you got high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus, you make yourself a good candidate or potential candidate for kidney failure soon.
Also, if you got a family history of kidney failure and being over 60 years of age then those are considered as major risk factors for kidney disease. Another thing is being an African-American/Black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, or Pacific Islander that all put you at risk for kidney dis-orders, unfortu-nately.
Most nephrologists said that kidney problem is a silent disease. This is because in the early stages of kid-ney disease, most people do not have any symptoms.
Symptoms may not appear until kidney disease is in the advanced stages. So, the best way to find out if you have kidney disease is to get tested — and once you are diagnosed there are many steps you can take to reduce the progression of the disease.
To find out if you got kidney problems, it can be done with two simple inexpensive tests during a routine visit with your nephrologist.
Have your urine tested for protein. It’s not normal to have some small amount of protein in your urine. This can be a sign of kidney problem.
Your blood test should consist of checking on your Glomerular Filtration Rate or GFR. The GFR number will also tell you how well your kidneys are working.
So, let’s get started now. Make sure we got the right test and correct knowledge about kidney disorder.
HEALTHWATCHING: Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4