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Kidney disease is the result of loss in kidney function over months or even years. Knowing important facts about kidney disease can help you detect the disease early and seek the treatment needed to avoid kidney failure.

1. Kidney disease often shows no symptoms during the beginning phases

The known symptoms of kidney disease, including headaches, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss often don’t occur until later in the disease process. The best way to stay on top of your kidney health and avoid any issues is to control your blood sugar, eat a low-salt and low-fat diet, limit your alcohol intake, avoid tobacco and manage a healthy weight.

2. Certain factors can increase your risk for kidney disease

Kidney disease can affect anyone, but research has shown that African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and South Asians are more likely to develop the disease, as well as those 60 and older. Also, if you have diabetes, you are at higher risk. There is also research suggesting that women are more likely to develop kidney disease than men.

3. About 13 percent of adults have kidney disease

Kidney disease is more prevalent than most people realize. About 13 percent of adults have kidney disease, so it’s important to know your risks and pay attention to signs that you may be experiencing kidney disease. Waiting too long to inform your doctor can put your life at risk, so don’t brush off symptoms because you think it won’t happen to you.

4. More than 90,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for kidney transplants

Of the 90,000 people in the U.S. waiting for a transplant, only 18,000 will receive one each year. That’s why it’s important to catch the disease early before you reaching the point in which a transplant is needed. If you catch it early enough, you may be able to prevent kidney failure.

Weekly Health Tips are brought to you by UCF Health, the College of Medicine’s physician practice. Offering primary and specialty care under one roof, UCF Health treats patients age 16 and up in primary care and age 18 and up for specialty care. Most major insurance plans are accepted. Two locations are now open: the original in East Orlando at Quadrangle and University boulevards just blocks from the main UCF campus, and the newest one in Medical City at Narcoossee Road and Tavistock Lakes Boulevard. Information for both facilities can be found at, or call (407) 266-DOCS to schedule an appointment.

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