March recognized as National Kidney Month

Posted at 9:30 AM, Mar 11, 2024

GREAT FALLS — March is National Kidney Month, and a great reminder to check your kidneys and make sure you are healthy. Chronic kidney disease is common and can be dangerous if not caught early.

Chronic kidney disease is a disfunction of the kidneys and their ability to filter blood. It can occur alongside other diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

According to the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services, about one in seven adults in the United States have chronic kidney disease, and nine in ten adults with the disease are not aware they have it.

Often there are not many signs or symptoms that you have chronic kidney disease until it has progressed to an acute injury, sometimes causing hospitalization.

The best way to stay safe is to visit your primary care provider for annual visits, or more if you are at a higher risk.

“Getting checked is with your routine primary care provider and those visits that you should at least have annually,” sais Pauline Conway, Medical Director at the Cascade City-County Health Department. “When we're dealing with blood pressure issues and diabetes issues, then you should be seeing a more often or it's every 3 to 6 months for those evaluations so that we can recognize problems with the kidneys before they actually occur.”

Lifestyle changes, such as choosing healthier food options, getting more exercise, and staying hydrated are also good ways to help prevent kidney disease.

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