Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, but most of them don’t know it. Since early kidney disease has no symptoms, and can progress to kidney failure with little or no warning, kidney disease has been labeled a “silent killer” and a “quiet epidemic.” However, some symptoms you may notice include:
Anyone can get chronic kidney disease at any age. However, some people are more likely than others to develop the condition. You may have an increased risk for kidney disease if you:
The NKF recommends three simple tests to check for kidney disease:
Blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease. High blood pressure may also happen as a result of kidney disease. A blood pressure of 140/90 or higher is called high blood pressure.
Urine. A test that checks a sample of your urine for the amount of protein, blood (red blood cells and white blood cells) and other things. Protein and red and white blood cells are not normally found in the urine, so having too much of any of these may mean kidney disease.
GFR. Glomerular Filtration Rate is the best test to measure your level of kidney function and determine your stage of kidney disease. Your doctor can calculate it from the results of your blood creatinine test, your age, race, gender and other factors.
Remember, the earlier kidney disease is detected, the better the chance of slowing or stopping its progression. If you have any concerns about your kidney function ask your doctor. To learn more about kidney disease and kidney function, click here.