8 to 10% of the adult population has some form of kidney damage, and every year millions die prematurely of complications related to their kidney disease
How do you know if you are at risk for Kidney Disease?
- High Blood pressure
- Heart Disease
- Over age of 60 years
- African-American, Hispanic, Asian, Native American or Pacific Islander
- Suffer from muscle cramping at night
- have swollen feet and ankles
- have puffiness around the eyes, particularly in the morning
- urge to urinate more often, especially at night
- have unexpected weight loss or gain
If you said YES to any of the above questions, you could be at risk for kidney disease.
What is Chronic Kidney Disease?
The two main causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure, which are responsible for up to two-thirds of the cases. Diabetes happens when your blood sugar is too high, causing damage to many organs in your body, including the kidneys and heart, as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes. High blood pressure, or hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If uncontrolled, or poorly controlled, high blood pressure can be a leading cause of heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease. Also, chronic kidney disease can cause high blood pressure.
Causes of kidney disease
The leading causes of chronic kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure.
How do they cause kidney damage?
Diabetes increases pressure inside the kidney's filters. Over a period of time, this pressure damages the filters, which then leak protein into the urine. High blood pressure, or hypertension, means that the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If left untreated, hypertension can lead to kidney disease, heart attacks and strokes.
Why are African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans at increased risk for kidney disease?
One reason is that diabetes is more common in these groups than in the population at large. African Americans experience a higher incidence of high blood pressure. These groups may have an inherited tendency to develop these diseases.
If you think you may be at risk for kidney disease, ask your doctor for tests, including blood and urine tests that can determine how well your kidneys are functioning. For more information, check out the three simple tests to check for kidney disease.