March is National Kidney Month, making it the ideal time to screen for the potentially fatal chronic kidney disease -- one that 26 million Americans already have, but don't know they do.
It's called the "silent disease" because it usually isn't detected until it's reached the later stages, but if you're aware of the risk factors and get screened for kidney disease early enough, you could avoid the serious consequences of chronic kidney disease -- like cardiovascular disease and kidney failure.
- You have diabetes
- You have high blood pressure or heart disease
- You have a family history of chronic kidney disease
- You are 60 years of age or older
- Your ethnic background is African-American, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander
Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease
- Fatigue, loss of energy
- Poor appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Dry, itchy skin
- Muscle cramping at night
- Swollen feet and ankles
- Puffiness around the eyes, particularly in the morning
- The need to urinate more often, especially at night
- Unexpected weight loss or gain
How do you check for chronic kidney disease? Ask your doctor to run blood and urine tests, or check for a free Kidney Early Evaluation Program screening near you.
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