The Kidneys: Your Body’s Filter and Regulator
We are wrapping up National Kidney Month! It’s a great time to remember just how important the kidneys are to your overall health and well-being. Among your most important body parts, the kidneys are two fist-sized organs located in your lower back. The kidneys help maintain your overall health by performing several critical functions.
What Your Kidneys Do
- Filter the waste products from 200 liters of blood per day
- Regulate the body’s salt, potassium and acid content
- Remove drugs from the body
- Balance the amount of fluids in your body
- Release hormones that regulate your blood pressure
- Produce the Vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- Control the production of red blood cells
Are You at Risk for Kidney Disease?
Unfortunately, kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death in the United States. More than 26 million Americans have kidney disease, and most don’t even know it.
In the US today, more than 95,000 people are awaiting kidney transplants, and more than 590,000 people suffer from kidney failure.
End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) is a very serious medical condition. When a person’s kidneys permanently cease to function, they require regular long-term dialysis or a kidney transplant to maintain life. That is why it is critical that you stay healthy and get regular checkups, particularly if you are at risk for kidney disease.
If you have any of the following health issues, you are at risk for kidney disease:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Family history of kidney failure
If you are at risk, get tested for kidney disease! Early kidney disease has no signs or symptoms and kidney disease can affect people of all ages and races. You can help delay or even prevent kidney failure by treating kidney disease early.
Get Tested for Kidney Disease!
A simple urine test can tell you if you have kidney disease, so make sure to include that test in your regular check-ups, especially if you’re at risk. It’s important to get tested because early detection and treatment can slow or prevent the progression of kidney disease.
Your kidneys are a critical part of a healthy life, so be sure to discuss the following with your doctor at your annual physical:
- Your lifestyle
- Your diet, alcohol and tobacco consumption, physical activity, and your medications and supplements
- Your full health history, your medical conditions, and any family history of kidney failure
How to Keep your Kidneys Healthy
According to the National Kidney Foundation, the following nine things can help keep your kidneys healthy and functioning as they should:
- Exercise regularly
- Control your weight
- Follow a balanced diet
- Quit smoking
- Drink only in moderation
- Stay hydrated
- Monitor your cholesterol levels
- Get an annual medical checkup
- Know your family medical history
The National Kidney Foundation’s KEEP Healthy® Program
Stay healthy, and if you need more information or you need a kidney health check? Go to the National Kidney Foundation’s KEEP Healthy program and find out more. KEEP Healthy will help you learn if you’re at risk for Kidney Disease. For more information about KEEP Healthy, click on this link: Kidney Health Check.
Lumex® Healthcare Seating
Since 1946, Lumex Specialty Healthcare Seating has been enhancing the quality of life of patients and caregivers. Lumex Healthcare Seating, designed to keep the patient as comfortable as possible during time-intensive dialysis treatments, is used in the care, treatment and recovery of patients within a wide array of clinical settings.
Sources: National Kidney Foundation: https://www.kidney.org/
KEEP Healthy is a trademark of the National Kidney Foundation.
Lawrence de la Haba is Senior Vice President of Business Development at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare, and primary care markets. Graham-Field product brands include Basic American Medical Products™, Everest & Jennings®, Gendron®, Grafco®, Hausted®, Intensa®, John Bunn®, Labtron®, Lumex® and Lumiscope®. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 1.770.368.4700.