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Don’t Rely on Luck, Act Now to Protect Your Kidneys

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. 

Educate Yourself About Kidney Disease During National Kidney Month

Kidney Disease: A Dangerous Illness That Can Hit You With No Signs or Symptoms

An estimated 37 million adults in the United States are believed to have chronic kidney disease. The National Kidney Foundation reports that approximately 90 percent of those adults don’t know they have it. This is especially concerning during the coronavirus crisis since kidney disease puts you at greater risk for developing life-threatening complications from COVID-19. 

It is also reported that people with kidney failure had the highest rate of hospitalization for COVID-19 among all Medicare beneficiaries, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). 

Other staggering statistics include:

  • Due to certain risk factors, one in three Americans are at risk for kidney disease.
  • 660,000 people live with kidney failure.
  • 100,000 people are waiting for a kidney transplant.

Kidney disease can strike anyone, young or old, at any time. Risk factors for kidney disease include: diabeteshigh blood pressureheart diseaseobesity, and family history.  Lifestyle changes and a healthy diet can sometimes slow the progression of the disease when caught in the early stages and sometimes can prevent kidney failure. 

Understanding Kidney Function

You have two kidneys; each one is about the size of a fist. They are located on either side of the spine near the lowest point of your ribcage. The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body through urine. The kidneys also regulate the body’s salt, potassium, and acid content.

Other ways your kidneys keep you healthy include:

  • Activates vitamin D for healthy bones.
  • Directs production of red blood cells.
  • Regulates blood pressure.
  • Keeps blood minerals in balance.

As part of an interrelated system, the kidneys are prone to damage if any disease alters the flow and/or chemistry of blood entering the kidneys or causes direct injury to the kidneys themselves.

Causes of Kidney Disease

Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys cannot function properly. The abnormality usually appears as a protein in the urine. It is also marked by decreased kidney function for three months or more. 

Symptoms of poor kidney function include:

  • Swelling in face, hands, abdomen, ankles, and feet
  • Blood in urine
  • Puffy eyes
  • Difficult, painful urination 
  • Increased thirst 
  • Fatigue

Diabetes is a major risk factor for kidney disease. This is when sustained high levels of blood glucose from uncontrolled diabetes can damage the kidneys and could lead to kidney failure.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is another risk factor. This condition can damage blood vessels in the kidneys.

Glomerulonephritis is an inflammation of the glomeruli, which are structures of blood vessels in your kidneys. These structures help filter your blood and remove excess fluids. If there is damage to these structures, your kidneys will stop working properly. 

In addition to kidney failure, kidney disease can cause a number of other health issues, including:

  • Nerve damage
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Weak bones
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • High blood pressure
  • Kidney failure
  • Anemia

Monitoring Kidney Function 

Chronic kidney disease can progress silently over many years, with no signs or symptoms or with ones that are too general for a person to suspect as related to kidney function. However, there are tests available to help you diagnose and manage conditions affecting your kidney function. 

Any Lab Test Now® can be a critical partner for you in your quest to take control of your kidney health. We offer several tests that can help screen for problems. 

One of those tests includes a Renal Function Panel. This is a group of tests performed together to evaluate kidney (renal) function. The test measures the levels of the following substances in the blood to determine the current health of your kidneys.

Minerals:

  • Phosphorus – This mineral is vital to energy production, nerve and muscle function, and bone growth.
  • Calcium – One of the most important minerals in the body. This mineral aids in the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, the formation of bones, and a healthy cardiovascular system.

Protein:

  • Albumin – This protein makes up about 60 percent of the protein in the blood. One of the main functions of albumin is transporting hormones, vitamins, and ions like calcium throughout the body.
  • Electrolytes – These are essential minerals that are vital to normal body function including such as nerve conduction and muscle function. They are also vital to regulating the amount of water in the body for proper acid-base balance.
  • Sodium
  • Potassium
  • Chloride
  • Carbon Dioxide (Total CO)

Waste Products:

  • Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) – This is a waste product that is formed from the metabolism of protein, which is then carried to the kidneys and eliminated in the urine.
  • Creatinine – This is also a waste product produced by the body’s muscles and also eliminated by the kidneys.

Carbohydrate:

  • Glucose – This carbohydrate supplies energy to the body. The level of glucose in the blood is used in the diagnosis and treatment of carbohydrate metabolic disorders (i.e., diabetes).

Be at Ease

Any Lab Test Now wants you to be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work, including determining your kidney function.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.

If You Don’t Test Your Kidneys Now, You Might Suffer Later

It’s National Kidney Month! Have you ever had your kidneys tested? Here’s why you should.

Your kidneys are an important part of your body as they function as filters to remove waste and balance fluids. The National Kidney Foundation reports that more than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t know it. This is why it’s so important to test your body for diseases because you could be suffering without any knowledge of what’s going on. If you’re suffering from back or abdominal pain, blood in your urine, painful or frequent urination you should consider getting a test.

A couple of tests to consider are either the kidney function panel or a urinalysis in order to evaluate the kidneys and tell how well they are functioning. Many physicians consider ordering these tests during routine visits or prior to any medical procedures, to better determine the health of your kidneys.

Don’t forget to Take Control of Your Health® this month and get your kidneys tested!