Take Control of Your Kidney Health

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), March 9, 2018 | Go to article overview

Take Control of Your Kidney Health


Byline: Madison Lands

March 8th is World Kidney Day. An estimated 1 in 3 people are at-risk for developing kidney disease. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is the ninth leading cause of death in the United Stated, but Kidney disease can actually be prevented or managed through simple lifestyle changes. World Kidney Day is a good opportunity to highlight simple kidney facts and ways that we all can take charge of our kidney health.

"Kidneys remove waste and extra fluid from the body and regulate body chemicals. Kidneys also play an important role in controlling blood pressure, keeping bones healthy, and creating red blood cells," said Dr. Peter Hart, Chair of Nephrology, CCHHS. "Because of this, taking care of our kidneys can be one of the most important things we can do for our health."

However, it can be very hard to detect CKD. The disease often doesn't have any symptoms, and is usually detected coincidentally through a routine blood or urine test. If left untreated, CKD can develop into End Stage Renal Disease or full kidney failure. At that point, patients must undergo dialysis or a kidney transplant. Patients should talk to their doctors about kidney health, especially if they display any of the following risk factors:

-Chronic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.

-Being over 50 years old

-Family history of CKD

-Being of African, Hispanic, Aboriginal, or Asian heritage

The best way to prevent CKD is to take good care of your body, by limiting foods with high sodium or fat content, taking medications as prescribed, exercising, or not smoking. People of all ages can adopt these habits. Because kidney disease is so common, community awareness of the disease is essential. Since 2015, the Division of Nephrology & Hypertension at Cook County Health and Hospitals System has been hosting "Kidney Health," a free, one-hour educational program designed to spread awareness of kidney function. …

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