According to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 million people in the United States have kidney disease. However, a lot of them don’t even know it. That’s because the symptoms of kidney disease can be similar to those caused by other medical problems. In addition, kidney disease often has no symptoms until it reaches the late stages. Because kidney disease is often missed, it’s important to be aware of what can cause kidney disease and what the signs of it are.
Since March is National Kidney Month, now is a good time to learn more.
Causes of Kidney Disease
Kidney disease is often the result of other medical conditions that compromise kidney function. Over time, the damage done to kidneys gets worse. Some medical conditions that can lead to kidney disease are:
- High blood pressure.
- Polycystic kidney disease.
- Conditions that cause the urinary tract to be blocked or narrowed over a period time, such as an enlarged prostate, kidney stones, or cancer.
- Kidney infections that recur.
Signs of Kidney Disease
Again, the signs of kidney disease may not show up until the older adult has had kidney disease for a while. If you’re concerned about the possibility of your aging relative having kidney disease, the doctor can perform tests to determine if the kidneys are functioning properly.
Signs that an older adult may have kidney disease are:
- Fatigue and Trouble Concentrating: When kidneys don’t function properly, toxins build up in the blood. The presence of too many toxins can leave the senior feeling fatigued and impede their ability to concentrate. Kidney disease can also cause anemia, which is another source of fatigue and weakness.
- Difficulty Sleeping: Toxins that build up can also affect sleep. In addition, people with kidney disease are more prone to sleep apnea.
- Dry Skin: When the kidneys don’t function properly, the balance of minerals and nutrients in the blood may be off. As a result, skin may become dry and itchy.
- Changes in Urination: People with kidney disease may need to urinate more often, see blood in their urine, or have foamy urine.
- Swollen Ankles and Feet: When the kidneys don’t work right, the body may retain sodium, causing ankles and feet to swell.
If your aging relative has kidney disease, home care services can help them to manage the condition. When treating kidney disease, doctors try to slow the rate at which the disease progresses. That typically means caring for the underlying problem. Home care services providers can assist by reminding seniors to take medications and perform other steps recommended by the doctor, such as testing blood sugar and tracking blood pressure. Home care services providers can also drive older adults to medical appointments, including kidney dialysis.
If you or an aging family member are considering professional home care services in Babylon, NY, please call the caring staff at A Gentle Touch Senior Home and Health Care at 631-647-7622 today.