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In Honor of National Kidney Month

This March, in honor of National Kidney Month and World Kidney Day on March 10, we urge Colorado and Wyoming residents to think about the health of their kidneys.

Kidneys work as the body’s chemical purifier, filtering waste from 150 quarts of blood a day and performing vital functions that help direct red blood cell production and regulate blood pressure. Over time, the kidneys can become damaged with little or no physical symptoms. According to the National Kidney Foundation, approximately 26 million Americans suffer from kidney disease and most don’t even know it. Kidney disease develops slowly, and because there are few symptoms, treatment is often delayed until the condition has already caused the body to deteriorate.

Early diagnosis is key, so make sure to talk to your doctor about getting tested annually. There are also a few simple steps you can take to help protect your kidneys, including reducing the amount of processed foods in your diet, exercising regularly and staying hydrated.

In Colorado and Wyoming, there are nearly two thousand people on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. The average time a patient spends on the waiting list is 3-5 years. If you or a loved on are currently waiting on the transplant list, contact your transplant center or visit organdonor.gov for more information about the resources available pre and post transplant, along with family and caregiver support information. For more information on how to register to become an organ, eye or tissue donor visit Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming.