THE BLOG

A Little Number 1 Can Save Your 2 Kidneys

06/26/2015 11:10 am ET | Updated Jun 23, 2016

Urine testing dates back to Medieval times when doctors made diagnoses based on the "Urine Wheel." Physicians of old used to examine urine with their eyes, sense of smell, and even taste! Fortunately for me, there are chemical tests which now make most of these tests obsolete, although I still examine urine under the microscope in my office.

Healthy kidneys produce urine, and as a result, a little number one can save your two kidneys. Yes, that's right -- an inexpensive and simple urine test can reveal the earliest signs of kidney damage. There are more than 26 million adults in the United States that are living with kidney disease, most of whom don't know it. Additionally, more than 40 percent of people who go into kidney failure each year fail to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) before starting dialysis -- a key indicator that kidney disease isn't being identified in its earliest stages.

The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) recently reported that on the whole, Americans are kidney clueless. Over 50 percent of Americans do not fully understand what the kidneys do, the signs and symptoms of kidney disease or how to test for it. Kidney disease typically doesn't present physical symptoms in its early stages, so the only way to determine whether you have kidney disease is through testing.

To spread awareness, NKF just launched a bold, new awareness campaign called EverybodyPees in order to use humor to tackle this serious public health problem. The campaign links one of the kidneys' primary functions -- the production of urine -- to overall kidney health. Let's break down the stigmas surrounding pee in order to foster an open dialogue about urine as the key to catching kidney disease!

Check out the campaign website and view the video below.

To learn more, visit www.everybodypees.org.