March is National Kidney Month, and Beaufort Memorial is urging Lowcountry residents to make lifestyle changes that can keep their kidneys healthy. One in three Americans is at risk for kidney disease, and many are unaware as this disease often progresses without symptoms.
Your kidneys perform many life-sustaining functions every day, including:
- Removing waste from the body by filtering 200 liters of blood a day
- Removing drugs from the body
- Balancing the body’s fluids
- Releasing hormones that regulate blood pressure
- Producing an active form of vitamin D that promotes strong, healthy bones
- Controlling the production of red blood cells
To reduce the risk of kidney disease, the National Kidney Foundation advises the following:
- Exercise regularly
- Control weight
- Follow a balanced diet
- Quit smoking
- Drink only in moderation
- Stay hydrated
- Monitor cholesterol levels
- Get an annual physical
- Know your family medical history
Since the early stages of kidney disease are typically symptom-free, we recommend getting a urine or blood test to be on the safe side, especially if you’re over 60 or have a family history of the disease. Remember, early detection and treatment can slow or even prevent the progression of kidney disease.
To set up an appointment for a kidney disease screening, call your primary care provider. Need a provider? Call the BMH Provider Referral Line, 843-522-5585.