Make your Kidney Health a Priority


Kidney disease is one of the highest causes of illness and death in the United States. The National Kidney Foundation notes that more than 26 million Americans are affected by kidney disease, with millions more at risk. For National Kidney Month, we urge you to make your kidney health a priority.

What Do Your Kidneys Do?

Your two kidneys, located toward the middle of your lower back, help filter out waste and remove toxic chemicals from the things you eat and drink. They also ensure that your body holds on to useful chemicals like potassium and sodium. 

What Is Kidney Disease?

If your kidneys are damaged, they cannot filter out toxic chemicals, which can build up in your body and cause severe health problems. 

Acute Kidney Disease is when sudden kidney problems occur, causing swelling in your ankles, poor sleep, vomiting and weakness. Without treatment, the damage can worsen, causing chronic kidney disease, which is ongoing, or even kidney failure, which can be life-threatening.

As we age, people often experience a higher risk for kidney problems; however, other factors such as diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to kidney disease. Over use of medication and other substances can damage your kidneys, as well, causing a buildup of toxic chemicals. Too much sugar is also bad for your kidneys. 

Common symptoms of kidney disease may include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Itchiness all over the body
  • Blood in the urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Puffiness around eyes and/or swelling of hands and feet
  • Skin may darken
  • Muscle cramps or pain in small of back just below the ribs (not aggravated by movement)

The symptoms of kidney disease may look similar to other medical problems. You should always consult your healthcare provider if you are experiencing any symptoms of kidney disease. 

The Division of Nephrology of LifeBridge Health's Department of Medicine provides a broad range of nephrology services to inpatients and outpatients with a diverse group of acute and chronic renal diseases, metabolic disorders, electrolyte disturbances, diabetes, and hypertensive diseases. The Division stresses that prevention at an opportune time can prevent total permanent kidney shutdown leading to dialysis. If you're suffering from any of the symptoms of kidney disease, schedule an appointment with one of LifeBridge Health's highly trained physicians by calling 410-601-WELL.