Do you know what your kidneys do? March is National Kidney Health Month, so if you’re not sure about the function of your kidneys, this is a good time to learn. 

Kidneys remove toxins from your blood and are essential to good health. Doctor Carol Nwelue, of Baylor Scott and White, said people over the age of sixty or those with certain risk factors – like high blood pressure and diabetes – may need to screen for kidney disease since it is difficult to detect until the advanced stages. 

“Some of the patients that we’re seeing are coming in with shortness of breath. With excess swelling, especially in the legs. They’re not urinating as much. The urine is very dark; they’re very tired. These can be signs of kidney disease as well,” described Dr. Nwelue.

According to the Texas Health and Human Services Department, chronic kidney disease is an urgent public health issue around the world, in particular to the United States. An estimated 37 million Americans have chronic kidney disease – that’s as many as 9 out of 10 adults and they do not know it.