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What Seniors Should Know About Kidney Disease

March is National Kidney Month, and MediNurse, St. Louis’ premiere provider of private duty nursing care, wants to educate the public about recognizing the warning signs of kidney disease.

Nearly 80,000 Americans die from kidney failure each year. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the most common form of kidney disease, causes kidney failure which results from consistent damage to the kidneys. Those affected by CKD are known to have permanent loss of kidney function caused by the kidneys not filtering blood as they should. This can result in a number of addition health issues: diabetes, high blood pressure and some types of infections.

Senior citizens have the highest risk of developing CKD. The disease impacts 15% of the adult population in the United States, or 30 million people. Unfortunately, almost half of that population is unaware that they have the condition. Even more concerning—those with mildly reduced kidney function may still be treatable, but a staggering 96% are not aware they have the disease and therefore do not realize they require treatment.

MediNurse identifies five facts about Chronic Kidney Disease all seniors should know:

  • Women are more prone to CKD than men.
  • The only way to get diagnosed with CKD is through specific blood and urine tests. Those affected by CKD may not notice any symptoms in the early stages of the disease—when it is most treatable.
  • Risk factors for CKD include: a family history of the disease, heart disease or obesity. Furthermore, adults are at a higher risk of developing CKD if they already have diabetes, high blood pressure or both. Liver disease can also contribute to CKD.
  • Treatment can inhibit the progression of the disease, but over time it will get worse.
  • If the kidneys stop working altogether, dialysis or a kidney transplant is the only remaining treatment option. At that point, the disease is considered “end-stage renal disease” (ESRD).

If diagnosed early, kidney disease is manageable with medication and lifestyle changes. Some lifestyle choices impact kidney function and prevent the development of other conditions. If you show symptoms such as decreased or possibly increased urination, metallic taste in the mouth or bad breath, or loss of appetite with nausea, vomiting and weight loss, please schedule an appointment with your doctor for a check- up.

MediNurse is St. Louis’ premier provider of private duty nursing services. MediNurse provides services that are customized to the individual needs of the client or patient and loved ones to ensure the best care possible. For more information, call 314-781-2800 or visit www.medinurse.com.

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