One in Seven Adults in the US Has Chronic Kidney Disease. Here's How to Avoid It
More than 1 in 7, adult Americans have chronic kidney disease (CKD) which is a serious and growing health problem. CKD can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other health problems so it's important to know the risk factors and symptoms. Fortunately, there are many things individuals can do to avoid developing CKD.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates more than 1 in 7 American adults have chronic kidney disease (CKD), which is about 15% of the population or 37 million people. Nine in 10 adults with CKD do not know they have it. There are many risk factors associated with chronic kidney disease, but the two most common risk factors are diabetes and high blood pressure. Other risk factors include heart disease, obesity, a family history of CKD, inherited kidney disorders, past damage to the kidneys, air pollution, pesticides, and older age.
CKD has been growing at an alarming rate and it's projected that by 2030 there will be over 1 million people who have died from this devastating condition. The lack of preventative services is largely responsible for the growth in numbers, with no sign of letting up. According to chronickidneydisease.org, over 100,000 people died of CKD complications.
Symptoms of CKD
With chronic kidney disease, there are many symptoms one might experience. Some of these include blood in the urine and/or foamy urine; urinating at night time on occasion or more often than usual for instance when drinking alcohol coffee - even if only one cup per day-, flank (side) pain, decreased output amounting to pruritus which can lead towards changes within mental status such as confusion. Difficulty breathing is also an indication that this condition has progressed quite far into its stages.
Other subtle indications are difficulty urinating, urinating with higher urgency than normal, higher frequency. Some drugs can actually increase the risk of chronic kidney disease. It’s important to be mindful of certain medications. Ibuprofen and Motrin are common over-the-counter painkillers often found in first aid kits or medicine cabinets at home; they each contain an ingredient called NSAID which may cause problems with urination if taken regularly - especially on a long-term basis.
How to Avoid CKD
Individuals can avoid CKD with the following steps:
- Stay healthy. Individuals should get a yearly checkup that includes blood work, even if they are feeling great, full of energy, and indestructible.
- Those who have a family history of high blood pressure, diabetes, or kidney disease should go to their doctor as soon as possible for a preventative checkup.
- Measure blood pressure at least once a year if individuals are unsure or have not seen a physician.
- If individuals are obese or overweight, they should check their blood sugar levels and blood pressure routinely.
- Add an alkaline diet to the daily regimen (fruits and vegetables).
- Exercise daily.
- Eat healthy by reducing salt and processed food intake.
For individuals who do not have insurance, free health clinics can be found in each local area. It’s important to get preventative workups done as soon as possible.