Why You Should Pay Closer Attention to Your Kidneys

Orange ribbon for Leukemia, Kidney cancer, RDS multiple sclerosis awareness on human hand, aged background; Satin fabric color symbolic concept for raising public support on people living with disease


As March is National Kidney Month, we wanted to take a second to discuss the many functions the kidneys serve in your overall health. In addition to that, we also wanted to show how problems that could potentially cause kidney issues could also increase the risk of urinary incontinence, making it extremely important to give your kidneys a second look.


What Do the Kidneys Do?


Your kidneys are responsible for filtering up to 200 liters of blood every day. They maintain healthy levels of sodium, potassium, and acid content. They are also responsible for regulating blood pressure. If you have an issue with hypertension, there could be something wrong with your kidneys. Your kidneys also control the production of red blood cells, produce Vitamin D, and balance all fluids in the body. In short, the kidneys do not take a day off.


Notice that we did describe the kidneys in the plural form, but a human being is able to live a healthy life with one kidney. Kidney disease is one of the most common causes of death, but it often goes untreated as it is asymptomatic in its earliest stages. The National Kidney Foundation notes that kidney disease is the ninth leading cause of death, and there are 26 million people in the United States who have kidney disease and don’t even know it. Nearly 600,000 people are going through kidney failure, and close to a 100,000 people are currently on the kidney transplant list.


How Do Risk Factors for Kidney Disease Correlate with Urinary Incontinence?


Urinary incontinence affects more than ten million American adults. There are various forms of adult urinary incontinence, including stress incontinence, urge incontinence, and functional incontinence. Urinary incontinence and kidney disease share the fact that people don’t seek treatment for either. We mentioned that millions of people don’t get treatment for kidney disease until it progresses. Only ten percent of people with adult incontinence ever seek treatment for it. This could be due to shame or because the amount of urine leaked isn’t noticeable.


We know that kidney disease is caused by a number of risk factors, including age, obesity, lifestyle choices, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Some of these same risk factors are inherent in urinary incontinence, which makes sense because obesity, drugs and alcohol, and chronic health conditions often have far-reaching consequences on overall health. If you have a family history of kidney disease or are experiencing symptoms of urinary incontinence, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. When caught early, there are more treatment options available.

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