In the United States alone, nearly 786,000 individuals are living with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), which is why being on the same page regarding kidney health is vital. To learn about the essential functions of the liver and how ESKD affects said functions read our blog below!
The Importance of Our Kidneys
Think of your body and all that internally allows it to function as a film, where each organ has a vital role to play. In the human body, there are five critical organs that people require to stay alive: the brain, heart, lungs, liver, and last but certainly not least, our kidneys. These are the stars of the film you call life, so we must learn how to direct them appropriately. Our kidneys, a pair of bean-shaped organs about the size of a fist, aid in filtering blood and purifying waste from our bodies. Excess fluid and waste are eliminated through the creation of urine, requiring a series of complex steps of excretion and absorption to maintain well-balanced body chemicals. However, like many other performers, our kidneys are versatile and play varied roles such as:
- Balance fluids in the body
- Control the creation of red blood cells
- Eliminate toxins and waste products from the body
- Produce vitamin D that fosters strong and healthy bones
- Release hormones that regulate blood pressure
What is End Stage Kidney Disease?
Kidney failure occurs when your kidneys cease to perform well enough for you to survive without dialysis or a kidney transplant. Kidney failure, also known as end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), is the fifth and final stage of chronic kidney disease. During this stage, your kidneys function at around ten to fifteen percent of their standard capacity. Several health conditions and problems can contribute to the development of kidney disease, and the damage can happen suddenly or cumulatively over many years, resulting in kidney failure. If kidney failure begins to take place, you may experience symptoms such as:
- Chest pain, if fluid accumulates near the heart
- Changes in urination
- Difficulty breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Metallic taste in the mouth
- Muscle cramps or muscle jerking
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling of the feet and ankles
If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to contact a healthcare professional immediately, as kidney failure can lead to other health concerns that require treatment, such as seizures and strokes. Routine visits to kidney specialists known as nephrologists are essential for people managing chronic kidney disease to ensure their health. Bloodwork will be performed on a set schedule to measure the levels of multiple things in your body, like albumin (protein), cholesterol, creatinine, and more. While healthcare providers can treat and possibly slow kidney disease, kidney failure is not curable. However, proper nutrition and exercise can be highly beneficial. Be on the same page as your kidney and avoid end stage kidney disease.
Get serious about your kidney health and follow this link to explore our upcoming kidney studies! Those that qualify and participate may see a doctor at no cost and receive compensation for time and travel. For more information, visit our website or call us at (305) 817 – 2900. Don’t kid about your kidney!