The body is one complicated machine. Everything is connected. Everything works (or is supposed to) in harmony. Many times, when you are diagnosed with an illness, caring for that illness is necessary so that nothing else is impacted.
Take the kidneys for instance. They are our body’s cleaning department, along with the liver. According to the National Kidney Foundation, these fist-sized organs primarily help to clear waste of the body and also provide stability in the body because they maintain a healthy acid base balance and water salt balance of the blood.
Kidneys also perform the following functions:
As you can probably tell from this list, these set of organs control a large portion of what keeps our bodies healthy.
How do you get kidney disease?
Chronic kidney disease is defined as having decreased kidney function for longer than three months. While some chronic kidney conditions run in the family, they are also affected by more common conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.
Other conditions that may affect the kidneys are lupus and other diseases that affect the immune system. Use of over the counter medicine can also affect the kidneys if used for a long period of time.
Detecting kidney disease
Those with increased risk of kidney disease should have these tests done:
There are easy tests that people with a high risk of kidney disease can have done. One test detects protein in the urine. Technically called the Albumin to Creatinine Ratio (ACR), this test checks the amount of an albumin in the urine. A lot of protein may suggest that the filtering parts of the kidneys have been damaged by disease. The test may be affected by a lot of exercise or a fever, so it is important that you tell your doctor before this test is given to you about recent activity or illness.
The second test, called the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) tells you how well your kidneys are working to remove wastes from your blood, states the National Kidney Foundation website. It is the best way to check kidney function. Over 90 is good, while 60-89 should be monitored and less than 60 for three months indicates kidney disease.
Kidney disease prevention
Since the kidneys are such important pieces of our body’s puzzle, it’s important to keep them working right for as long as possible. The ways to prevent kidney disease are not unfamiliar—at least they shouldn’t be. Keeping tabs on the following won’t only help keep your kidneys in line but will also help with the prevention of many other diseases and conditions.
For any other information regarding kidney disease and function, visit the National Kidney Foundation.
SIGN IN to share your comments or REGISTER today to become a Connect member.
A Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. © Copyright 2019 Health Care Service Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Telligent is an operating division of Verint Americas, Inc., an independent company that provides and hosts an online community platform for blogging and access to social media for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.
File is in portable document format (PDF). To view this file, you may need to install a PDF reader program. Most PDF readers are a free download. One option is Adobe® Reader® which has a built-in screen reader. Other Adobe accessibility tools and information can be downloaded at http://access.adobe.com.