Four things Veterans and others should know about chronic kidney disease

When it comes to health awareness campaigns, why should hearts get all the love? March is National Kidney month, and the perfect time for anyone with diabetes, hypertension or a family history of kidney disease to speak with their provider about getting tested.

Although the month is coming to a close, it is never too late to learn about the dangers of kidney disease and take steps to protect yourself. Kidney disease can get worse over time and may lead to kidney failure. Show your kidneys some love and review these five things you should know about chronic or long-term kidney disease.

1. Chronic kidney disease is common in the Veteran population. It is estimated to affect one out of six Veterans receiving health care at VA.

Healthy kidneys work 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, to maintain a balance in the body. To maintain this balance, healthy kidneys do three main things:

Remove wastes and excess water from your blood through the elimination of urine. Make hormones necessary for making red blood cells, having healthy bones, and controlling your blood pressure. Control levels of electrolytes, like potassium and salt, which help carry nerve signals or aid in blood clotting, among other tasks.

When the kidneys do not work as they should, the whole body can feel the impact.

2. Chronic kidney disease is costly, deadly and treatable.

Many patients affected by chronic kidney disease are unaware that they have it; and thus, fail to get treatment prior to needing

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