Did you know today is World Kidney Day? There are 26 millions Americans that suffer from chronic kidney disease and 100,000 people on the national waiting list for lifesaving organs. There is a very high chance(70%) that I will be one of those people in the next seven to ten years.
Did you also know that the actor/comedian George Lopez unknowingly suffered from kidney disease and recently received a kidney transplant from his wife?
Kidney disease is scary because the symptoms can be hard to diagnose. Some people have no symptoms at all until their kidneys have already been damaged. That was the case with me. I knew that something was not right and I "just didn't feel good", but I kept going to the doctor and they couldn't find anything wrong. Finally my General Practitioner noticed a high amount of both blood and protein in my urine and after months of tests and a kidney biospy I was diagnosed. The disease had been in my body for five or six years, but no one caught it and irreparable damage to both my kidneys had already occurred by that time.
Kidney disease can be caused by high blood pressure, or diabetes. Even using too many over the counter pain killers over a long period of time can cause kidney disease. In my case, it is an autoimmune disease. That means my body is attacking itself. We don't know why. Just lucky I guess. :) That means I didn't do anything or have any other disease that caused it. I probably had the disease for ten or more years and the symptoms only started showing up in the last 5.
In fact, if it hadn't been for the medical paperwork that was required for the adoption, I might still not have a diagnosis and I very well could have gone into kidney failure. So you could say that this adoption saved my life!
For more information on kidney disease, go to the National Kidney Foundation website.