March is National Kidney Month

March has been declared as the National Kidney Month and today is a good day to know more about one of the most important organs in the body. After all kidneys work 24/7, yes even when a person is sleeping… It is important to know exactly how they function, what they do for the body, and what should be known about kidney disease. Basically, the kidneys filter 200 liters of blood daily to remove toxins, waste and water and produce urine. But do you know that the kidneys also produce a hormone which stimulates the production of red blood cells? This hormone is called Erythropoietin. The kidneys also produce hormones that help regulate blood pressure and the metabolism of calcium. Additionally, the kidneys help maintain the chemical balance of salt, potassium and acid. Even though anyone can get Chronic Kidney Disease, there are certain groups of people who are more likely to develop the disease. These would include: African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asians, American Indians and Pacific Islanders. Diabetes is more common in these groups and have an inherited tendency to develop CKD. African Americans, meanwhile, have higher incidences of high blood pressure. Those who are older, have diabetes, have high blood pressure or have a family member who has chronic disease are also most likely to develop kidney diseases. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the leading causes of CKD. Diabetes damages the kidney’s filters causing protein to leak into the urine. On the other hand, HBP increases the pressure on the walls of blood vessels resulting to kidney disease, strokes and heart attacks. Diagnosis and treatment can...

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