Austin, TX – March is National Kidney Month – the perfect time to pause and thank the fist-sized organs that pack a punch when it comes to maintaining good health. Every day, two kidneys filter about 120 to 150 quarts of blood. Put another way, every 30 minutes, your kidneys filter every drop of your blood, eliminating waste, regulating fluid levels and blood pressure, supporting bone health and promoting red blood cell production along the way.
Kidneys are small but mighty when it comes to necessary function. Sadly, 26 million Americans suffer from kidney disease, and most have no idea their kidneys are failing them. That’s because kidney damage is often an overlooked side effect of other snowballing medical conditions. Risk factors like diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, heart disease and even age can trigger kidney problems. Making matters worse, there are often no signs or symptoms of early kidney disease, so people with gradual kidney failure are missing the critical window of opportunity to stop progression.
Thankfully, there are six things you can do today to boost your kidney health. And because one out of every three of us is at risk for kidney disease, today and every day are good days to tackle this simple list.
Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP, is the President of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She completed her doctorate of nursing practice at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, with a focus on health literacy. She is a board-certified nurse practitioner and has provided primary care to patients over an 18-year period, 12 of which were in service to active duty and retired military members and their families.
The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) is the largest professional membership organization for nurse practitioners (NPs) of all specialties. It represents the interests of the more than 222,000 licensed NPs in the U.S. AANP provides legislative leadership at the local, state and national levels, advancing health policy; promoting excellence in practice, education and research; and establishing standards that best serve NP patients and other health care consumers. As The Voice of the Nurse Practitioner®, AANP represents the interests of NPs as providers of high-quality, cost-effective, comprehensive, patient-centered health care. To locate a nurse practitioner in your community, go to npfinder.com. For more information about NPs, visit aanp.org.