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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Kidney disease is more prevalent in the U.S. than you may think. One in three Americans are at risk of developing chronic kidney disease, or CKD, and approximately 90% of those with kidney disease don’t even know they have it. CKD’s common risk factors, such as genetic risk, diabetes, or being overweight, may lead to kidney disease.5 Staying at a normal weight and getting enough exercise is very important for these groups to help prevent diabetes and high blood pressure.6 It causes more deaths than breast cancer or prostate cancer and is also more common in African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and American Indians.2,3
Roshanda, a passionate patient advocate, is managing her kidney failure through solo home hemodialysis while balancing caring for her family. She is on the kidney transplant list and was recently featured in a documentary about the crucial need for kidney donors, where her journey with kidney failure and transplantation was highlighted. March is Kidney Disease Awareness Month.
The Mayo Clinic reports signs and symptoms of chronic kidney disease develop over time if kidney damage progresses slowly. Signs and symptoms of kidney disease may include:
- Loss of appetite
- Fatigue and weakness
- Sleep problems
- Changes in how much you urinate
- Decreased mental sharpness
- Muscle twitches and cramps
- Swelling of feet and ankles
- Persistent itching
- Chest pain, if fluid builds up around the lining of the heart
- Shortness of breath, if fluid builds up in the lungs
- High blood pressure (hypertension) that’s difficult to control