Sadly, many don’t know they have kidney disease until it’s too late. This is when the kidneys fail and can no longer filter wastes well enough to keep you healthy. Treatment requires dialysis or a transplant.
Educating yourself about the disease and knowing the signs can help you detect and manage it at its earliest stages. Something as simple as having a urinalysis during a regular medical checkup and being referred to a nephrologist, should it be necessary, can make a huge difference in the outcome.
A simple urinalysis will show the amount of protein in your urine. When your kidneys are not working properly, protein leaks into the urine. This, as well as the presence of blood in your urine, suggests that the kidney’s filtering units have been damaged.
At this point, a kidney specialist (nephrologist) will run a battery of additional tests to rule out other problems. Although medication can be prescribed to help manage the condition, most nephrologists view diet modification as the first line of defense.
According to the American Society of Nephrology, kidney disease is 15 percent more prevalent among African-Americans and 17 percent more likely in Hispanics than whites. African-Americans with diabetes are three to five times more likely to develop kidney disease than the general population.
A recent study by Johns Hopkins University found that people with normal kidneys whose diets were poor – high in processed and red meats, sodium, and sugar-sweetened beverages, and low in fruit, nuts, legumes, whole grains and low-fat dairy – were more likely to develop kidney disease. The study found that 13 percent of participants who combined a poor diet with such unhealthy factors as obesity and smoking, developed protein in their urine.
Recommended is a diet that includes:
Education is power. By following simple lifestyle changes, you can help prevent kidney disase and notice the symptoms early.
Angels Senior Home Solutions is a based-in-faith company that provides in-home healthcare and personal care services for seniors.