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March is Kidney Health Month

March is Kidney Health Month

For the month of March, we are spreading awareness, information and facts about kidney disease. Experts estimate that over 2 million Canadians are currently suffering from kidney disease and are completely unaware of it. That is why March is dedicated to enlightening people about the possible dangers of kidney disease and how it can be treated.

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Getting Checked Out

One of the biggest problems in dealing with kidney disease, is that for the most part it goes unnoticed. As is the case with most ailments, getting diagnosed early is crucial for effective treatment.

Due to the fact that the majority of kidney disease sufferers are unaware of their condition, it is becoming one of the more serious health challenges in Canada.

Symptoms

Kidney disease can go undetected for long periods of time because of how long it takes for symptoms to become severe. Here are some early warning symptoms that may indicate kidney disease:

  • Frequent urination
  • Reduced amount of urine
  • Swelling of legs, ankles, and feet due to water retention
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramping
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Nausea

These symptoms are often associated with other ailments as well, that is why it is so important to get an official diagnosis from your doctor or a healthcare professional as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

Causes

Kidney disease develops when the kidneys become damaged and they are no longer able to perform regular functions. Kidneys are responsible for balancing body fluids, removing waste from the blood, forming urine, and assisting with other critical bodily functions.

This damage can come from a number of sources. Kidney disease can be caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, or other chronic, long-term ailments.

Some types of kidney disease can also be genetic. An example of this is Polycystic Kidney disease, which is characterized by numerous cysts growing in the kidneys.

If kidney disease goes untreated it can lead to other more serious problems like bone deterioration, nerve damage, heart attacks, and strokes.

Treatments

There are a few different treatment options available depending how far along the disease has progressed. If caught early enough, medications and lifestyle changes can be used to combat the underlying cause of the disease.

If the disease has gone unnoticed for a longer period of time, dialysis or a kidney transplant may be your only options. Dialysis is a treatment plan that uses artificial methods for cleaning the blood. This means you will be hooked up to a machine in order to extract the waste from your bloodstream. Dialysis in no way cures kidney disease, only manages it.

That is why it is so important to checked out as soon as possible!

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