HOUSTON (KIAH) — Over 37 million Americans are living with kidney disease. Once someone reaches the kidney failure stage, patients either go through dialysis treatment or wait for a transplant.

Sadly, there’s a shortage of kidney transplants and that is causing longer wait times for patients to be paired with a new kidney. Davita Horizon Dialysis says that nine in 10 people are unaware that they have kidney disease until they reach a more advanced stage or reach kidney failure.

Close to 100,000 Americans in need of a life-giving transplant can wait for a transplant anywhere from three to seven years.

Dr. Rahul Prakash is the Medical Director for Davita Horizon Dialysis and says the key to early detection is to get regular screenings. “The two common causes for kidney disease is diabetes and hypertension. And obesity is another one that is coming up these days,” Prakash said. “The key is to get the proper screening done right at the right time so that we are not seeing them very late in the current kidney disease when there is not much that we can do.”

Tune in this morning on CW39 from 6 a.m.-9:30 a.m. on how you can detect the signs early, resources that can get you on the waiting list for a transplant and how you can become a donor.