You have two bean-shaped kidneys located in the middle of your back just below your rib cage. According to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NKUDIC), the kidneys are powerful processing plants that process around 200 quarts of blood a day and filter out 2 quarts of waste and extra water. These wastes pass into the bladder where they are eliminated in urine.
The early stages of kidney disease do not have symptoms. Kidney failure is often a long and chronic process, which often has no signs until kidney failure is imminent. So, it’s important to know your risks for kidney disease.
The most common causes of kidney disease are:
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Knowing this, you can take steps to avoid kidney disease by keeping control over your blood sugar levels and your blood pressure through food choices and an active, healthy lifestyle. If you have a family history, get tested for chronic kidney disease (CKD) on a regular basis so that you can catch it early and make your kidneys last as long as possible.
Kidney disease can also happen more quickly through traumatic injury, such as direct blows to the kidneys or losing a lot of blood quickly, or through poisoning, such as use of certain medications. Check with your pharmacist about the medications you take, especially long-term medications.
The NKUDIC advises that you look for the following symptoms:
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If you have these symptoms, contact your medical professional to get blood pressure, blood, and urine tests to determine if you have CKD and need to begin treatment. It's important to begin treatment early to make your kidneys last as long as possible.
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