What do you know about kidney disease? Are you sure that what you heard is correct? Here are 4 common errors:
Myth 1: Kidney disease is rare
One in seven adults in Hawai‘i has kidney disease and one in two are at risk for the disease. High blood pressure, diabetes, a family history of kidney failure, and being over 60 are major risk factors. So is being Asian, Pacific Islander, African-American, Hispanic, or American Indian.
Myth 2: You’ll know if you get kidney disease
Most people who have kidney disease don’t know it, because the early stages of kidney disease do not usually produce any symptoms. To learn if you have kidney disease, get tested. Once you are diagnosed there are many steps you can take to reduce the progression of the disease.
Myth 3: People at risk can’t do anything
Not everyone at risk will get kidney disease. You can help protect your kidneys. Eat healthy, get regular exercise, control blood pressure and blood sugar, keep a healthy weight, quit smoking, and don’t overuse pain medications like ibuprofen.
Myth 4: Dialysis is the only treatment
Early stage kidney disease is usually managed with medication, exercise, and diet. Some people diagnosed early can slow progression and enjoy a normal lifestyle. Dialysis or kidney transplant is only needed if kidney disease progresses to kidney failure.