Most diabetics are acutely aware that the kidneys job is to remove waste products and excess fluid from the body through the urine. This process maintains a stable balance of body chemicals within the body. High blood sugar hinders the process. Essentially diabetes damages the kidneys.
Diabetes is not the only cause of kidney damage and in fact more than 26 million Americans have kidney disease. Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the country. Many people are unaware they even have a problem. March is National Kidney Month and the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is pumping up awareness. The Foundation urges everyone to get a well-deserved checkup.
One simple check many diabetics – and others – can perform at home is a simple urine test. Ketone Care™ is simple test strips that you simply urinate on in the privacy of your own bathroom. Simply pass the Test Pad of the test strip through the urine flow. After 15 seconds, compare the color of the Test Pad to the color chart on the side of the strip vial. The coloring ranges from a beige-ish which is negative for high ketone levels to a dark brown like color, which indicates 160 mg/dl.
Kidneys filter 200 liters of blood a day, help regulate blood pressure and direct red blood cell production. One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease due to diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease. African Americans are three times more likely to have kidney failure than whites.
The NKF offers the following health activities to promote awareness of kidneys, risk factors and kidney disease:
• Free Screenings: On World Kidney Day (14 March) and throughout the Month of March, NKF is offering free screenings to those most at risk for kidney disease – anyone with diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of kidney disease. Locations and information can be found at: www.kidney.org.
• 'Are You at Risk' Kidney Quiz: Early detection can make a difference in preventing kidney disease so it's important to know if you're at risk. Take the online kidney quiz, and find out if you're at risk at www.kidney.org.
• Live Twitter Chat with Dr. Joseph Vassalotti : The National Kidney Foundation's Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Vassalotti , will be hosting an interactive kidney Q&A on World Kidney Day, Thursday, 14 March, from 12-2 pm ET. Ask your questions at www.twitter.com/nkf.
The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families and tens of millions of Americans at risk. For more information about risk factors, kidneys and kidney disease, visit www.kidney.org.
This article was taken in part from a press release by the National Kidney Foundation. It is not intended to replace the medical advice of your physician. If you are diabetic or at risk for kidney disease, make an appointment with your physician.
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