Kidney Month reminder for all
As the month comes to an end, British Columbians are being asked to assess their risk of kidney disease during this, World Kidney Month.
About one in 20 British Columbians have some level of kidney disease — yet most don’t even know it.
The symptoms of kidney disease are not easily noticed when the affliction is in its early stages, leaving many of the 200,000 people in B.C. with kidney disease to discover the truth only when their kidneys begin to fail.
At that point, the only treatment options available are dialysis or kidney transplant.
Early diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease can significantly delay — and sometimes prevent — the onset of kidney failure and the need for dialysis or transplant.
Reducing the risk for developing kidney disease starts with knowing the risk factors for the disease, which include:
• High blood pressure
• Heart disease
• Having a family history of kidney disease
• Belonging to a high-risk ethnic group, such as, aboriginal, Pacific Islanders, Asian or African.
People in any of these categories are encouraged to talk to their doctor about their personal risk for developing kidney disease.
Using simple blood and urine tests, a doctor can diagnose whether someone has kidney disease.
The B.C. Renal Agency, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, has online resources to help British Columbians learn more about their risk for developing kidney disease, including an online kidney disease self assessment tool.
These resources are available online here.