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March, the month when the ice begins to melt and the sun starts to shine through the heavy clouds of winter. The first day of spring encourages outdoor dining and lazy hammock lounging as we welcome the warm weather after the months of cold that have become all too familiar. In addition to looking forward to warmer weather, March features St. Patrick’s Day, National Reading Month, and an important one, National Kidney Month. Kidneys aren’t usually what comes to mind when you think of the third month of the year. However they’re hard at work the entire calendar year, so it’s only fair to recognize their efforts. 

Let’s Start With The Facts

Kidney disease affects 1 in 3 American adults, that’s 37 million adults! The unfortunate reality is that most people don’t even know it. Right now, 100,000 people are on the kidney transplant list. According to the World Health Organization, kidney disease is the 10th leading cause of death globally. 

What Is Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease, or chronic renal disease, is a condition where you suffer from a gradual loss of kidney function over time. The disease includes conditions that damage your kidneys and decrease their ability to keep you healthy by filtering wastes from your blood. Kidney disease increases your risk of having heart and blood vessel disease. When kidney disease progresses, it can eventually lead to kidney failure, which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life. 

If your kidneys worsen, you may start to feel sick and develop symptoms like:

  • High blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Weak bones
  • Poor nutritional health
  • Nerve damage

Risk Factors for Kidney Disease

Several factors can lead to kidney disease. Diabetes and high blood pressure are responsible for two-thirds of chronic kidney disease cases. Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar is too high. Over time, if unmanaged, it can cause damage to your kidneys, heart, blood vessels, nerves, and eyes. High blood pressure occurs when your blood pressure against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If poorly controlled, it can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes, and chronic kidney disease. Additionally, kidney stones or tumors can possibly lead to kidney damage, a well.

Unfortunately, chronic kidney disease can impact individuals at any age.
You could have an increased risk if you:

  • Have a family history of kidney failure
  • Are older in age
  • Belong to a group with a high rate of diabetes or high blood pressure


Symptoms of Kidney Disease

Detecting chronic kidney disease can be tricky because the signs and symptoms of the disease typically occur later as the disease progresses. Something to also be mindful of is how symptoms can progress differently in men and women. For instance, urinary tract infections are more common in women, if the UTI travels to the kidneys it could put some women at greater risk for chronic kidney disease. In contrast, there are some cases where men may progress to end-stage renal disease or kidney failure faster.

While watching for late-stage symptoms won’t help with early detection, it’s important to be aware of the signs:

  • Feeling exhausted, less energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Poor appetite 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Muscle cramping at night
  • Swollen feet/ankles
  • Puffiness around your eyes, especially in the morning 
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Frequent urination, especially at night

Steps to a Healthy Kidney

Early detection and treatment can often keep kidney disease from getting worse. Now is the best time to make a commitment to yourself to keep your kidneys healthy. Any Lab Test Now’s Renal Function Panel is a group of tests used to evaluate kidney function.

This panel provides an affordable, convenient option for you to maintain your health. Minerals, electrolytes, proteins, and glucose are measured as part of this test. A simple blood draw is required, and no appointment is necessary. At Any Lab Test Now ®, we pride ourselves on being accessible to the working person, so our locations have business-friendly hours. 

New Year, Better You!

There are many components to being diagnosed with chronic kidney disease. The root could come from several conditions like getting older, an autoimmune disease, or inherited diseases, but something you can do is get ahead of it. With early detection, you can save yourself from severe illness or even death. 

Once you get your test results, you can work with your primary physician to treat and improve the health of your kidneys. As we continue to battle COVID-19 fatigue, it’s easy to write off testing, especially for something that isn’t at the forefront of your mind. However, it’s vital to make your kidney health a priority. As a new season welcomes us, spring into action to care for your kidneys so you can live your life to the fullest. 

Any Lab Test Now ® has more than 200 locations across the country. You can make an appointment online, by phone, or just walk in. Don’t rely on luck for good kidney health, click here for your nearest location.