Urology Austin

March is National Kidney Awareness Month: It’s About More Than Kidney Stones

Kidney Stones are often the first thing to come to mind when discussing kidney health. Kidney disease and failure are often overlooked as serious kidney health issues. That’s why March is observed as National Kidney Awareness Month; to create awareness about all types of kidney health issues, their treatment, and prevention.

Why is kidney health so important?

  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease and don’t know it.

How do the kidneys work?

  • Kidneys work hard in maintaining overall health by filtering waste and by regulating salt, potassium, and acid content.
  • Located in the lower back, these two fist-sized organs produce an active form of Vitamin D that promotes healthy bones.

Are there signs or symptoms for early kidney disease?

  • No, there are no signs or symptoms for early kidney disease. This is why regular visits to your healthcare provider are important, especially for those with diabetes.
  • Other factors of kidney disease are high blood pressure and a family history of kidney failure.
  • Testing for kidney disease consists of a blood and a urine test. The blood test checks the filtering functions of the kidneys while a urine test checks for albumin, a protein that can pass through the kidneys if there is existing kidney damage.

Best advice? Be Proactive.

  • Any month is a good time to talk with family members about personal health histories and for scheduling a visit with a healthcare provider.
  • No signs or symptoms are not necessarily good things. Don’t take the silence that all is well.
  • Over a half-a-million people in the U.S. have kidney failure and over 95,000 people are waiting for kidney transplants.

The sooner you know you have kidney disease, the sooner you can receive treatment that will prevent or delay kidney failure.

To learn more about testing and risk factors, contact us today.

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