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March is National Kidney Month

March is National Kidney Month, the month where all people are asked to learn about the importance of kidney health and some steps they can take to help preserve their kidneys and their vital functions. Sponsored by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the hope is that the programs and information distributed during the month of March will encourage people to be mindful of their kidneys and the role they play in their overall health, all year long.

The theme for 2022 is “Building paths to Better Kidney Care”. The NIDDK sees two distinct pathways to better kidney care. One is through continued research into new treatments and preventative measures for kidney disease. The other path is the one followed by those suffering from kidney disease. This path includes three steps:

  • Participate in your healthcare - think of your doctors as a team, working together to keep your kidneys, and the rest of you, healthy. Be honest about your lifestyle and be willing to make changes to improve your health.
  • Follow the plan - once you and your doctors have come up with a plan to maintain or improve your health, stick to it. This includes taking all medications at the appropriate times, making necessary dietary or lifestyle changes and reporting any issues immediately.
  • Create a lifestyle that is kidney friendly - being mindful of what you eat and how it may affect your kidneys is just the beginning, keeping the rest of your body and soul healthy through regular exercise, maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive use of drugs or alcohol rounds out your kidney friendly lifestyle.

Even if you do everything right, there is the chance that you may end up with kidney problems. Be aware of the symptoms of kidney dysfunction and contact your physician if you notice any of these signs.

Symptoms of Kidney Disease

The symptoms of kidney disease are often mild at first and frequently over looked until serious damage has been done. It is estimated that only 10% of those suffering from kidney disease have been diagnosed and the vast majority of these weren’t recognized until late in the disease's progression.

Here are some symptoms you should pay attention to:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Excessively dry skin
  • Frequent urge to urinate
  • Foam or blood in the urine
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps

Obviously, kidney disease is not the only reason for these symptoms, but if you have several of them or they persist, you should have your doctor run tests to check your kidney function.

What To Do About Kidney Disease

While lifestyle and dietary changes can slow the course of kidney disease, like adopting a high protein diet, there are no medications to treat it. Instead, medications are given to alleviate the symptoms of the disease or to treat ailments that may damage your kidneys, such as:

How To Get Affordable Medications

If you have been diagnosed with kidney disease, or any other chronic ailment, you may be struggling to pay for the medications you need to stay healthy. Thankfully, rxless can help. No need to sign up or register, simply go to rxless.com and use their search tool to find the best discount prices for prescription medications at pharmacies, including CVS, RiteAid and Walgreens, near you.