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Be Aware and Take Care of Your Kidneys

April 19, 2018 GMT

SCOTTSBLUFF – One out of every three Americans is at risk of chronic kidney disease due to high blood pressure, family history of kidney disease, or diabetes. Unfortunately, most are unaware of the disease in its early stages due to a lack of symptoms. A simple blood test can indicate whether your kidneys are working properly.

“Lab tests and screening are essential for early detection of kidney disease,” said internal medicine physician Amanullah Bilal, MD, of Regional West Physicians Clinic-Nephrology. “It’s important for those at greatest risk for kidney disease to have regular health checkups to screen for the disease,” he said.

The kidneys remove waste and excess fluid from the body. They control the body’s salt, potassium, and acid levels and produce hormones that affect the function of other organs. The kidneys also control red blood cell production and blood pressure.

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Kidney disease is detected through blood or urine tests. Many kidney diseases, including kidney stones and urinary tract infections, can be treated successfully. Early detection and treatment are the keys for keeping kidney disease from progressing to kidney failure.

Symptoms of kidney disease include frequent urination, particularly at night, difficult or painful urination; puffiness around the eyes; and swelling of the hands and feet.

“The best way to reduce your risk of kidney disease risk is by controlling blood pressure and blood sugar and maintaining a healthy weight. It’s also important to avoid excessive use of NSAID pain medications,” said Dr. Bilal.

If you have a family history of kidney disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, or if you’re over age 60, be sure to have an annual urine test or blood test to check for kidney problems.

Regional West Physicians Clinic-Nephrology offers specialized care for the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases and hypertension. Dr. Jonathan McNeely is fellowship-trained and board-certified in nephrology, and Dr. Amanullah Bilal is fellowship-trained in nephrology. To schedule an appointment, call Regional West Physicians Clinic-Nephrology, 308-630-2101.