IT KILLS more Australians each year than breast cancer, prostate cancer and road accidents, yet awareness of this silent killer remains low.
While one in three Aussies is at increased risk of developing kidney-related disease, and 53 die with kidney-related disease every day, most are tragically unaware they have it until it is too late.
"One Australian dies every 27 minutes and 1.7 million are affected by chronic kidney disease, but it is highly undiagnosed and less than 10 per cent of people who are affected know they have the disease," said Kidney Health Australia acting chief executive Lisa Murphy said.
"The more Australians that know their risk and check their kidneys, the higher chance we have of sparing millions of Australians from prolonged suffering, expensive dialysis and unacceptably high fatalities."
Launching Kidney Health Week (March 5-11), Kidney Health Australia urged everyone to see if they are the "one in three" people at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease by taking a simple online test.
"It's important Australians know the indicators of chronic kidney disease, as 90 per cent of kidney function can be lost without any symptoms and early detection is vital to successful treatment," Dr Murphy said.
"If caught early, chronic kidney disease is very treatable and in some cases can even be reversed entirely."
People at risk of developing chronic kidney disease include those with:
- High blood pressure
- Established heart problems such as heart failure or heart attack
- A family history of kidney failure
- A history of acute kidney injury
People who have had a stroke or who are obese with a body mass index of 30 or higher, smokers, those aged 60-plus and people of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander origin are also at risk.
Symptoms can include:
- High blood pressure
- Changes in the amount and number of times urine is passed
- Changes in the appearance of your urine (for example, frothy or foaming urine)
- Blood in your urine
- Puffiness (in your legs, ankles or around your eyes)
- Pain in your kidney area
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Lack of concentration
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bad breath and a metallic taste in the mouth
- Muscle cramps
- Pins and needles in your fingers or toes
Are you the 1 in 3? Take the test - http://kidney.org.au/