In honor of National Kidney Month this March, we’re reminding Colorado and Wyoming residents to think about the health of their kidneys and urge all residents to sign up as organ, eye and tissue donors.
Did you know that 90% of those with kidney disease don’t even know they have it? 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, roughly 30 million Americans suffer from kidney disease.
Taking Care of Your Kidneys:
According to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), one in three Americans are at-risk for kidney disease. As mentioned above, since many don’t know they have kidney disease, NKF has created a quiz to see if you’re at risk.
Early diagnosis is key, so make sure to visit your doctor once a year; general health screenings monitor for kidney function. 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 2,000 people on the waiting list for lifesaving organ transplants – and more than 80% of them are awaiting a kidney. Kidneys are the most transplanted organ and the average time a patient spends on the waiting list is 3-5 years. Kidneys are one of several organs that a living donor can give – allowing folks that are able to be a living donor to make a huge impact through organ donation while they are still alive.
For more information on living donation, click here.
Remember, while not everyone can be a living donor, everyone CAN sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor after death. Sign up anytime online at Donate Life Colorado or Donate Life Wyoming.