It’s well known that diabetes and hypertension are prevalent in the United States. However, many people don’t realize these diseases are also the leading causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). More than 26 million Americans have CKD, and millions more are at increased risk and may not even know it. During National Kidney Month in March, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, urges people at risk for CKD to be aware of the symptoms of the disease and how to help slow its progression. CKD is a progressive, usually permanent loss of kidney function. Many people who have CKD are still in the early stages of the disease, but by the time CKD leads to kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the only treatments are a kidney transplant or dialysis. Some of the early symptoms of kidney disease include changes in urination; swelling of the face, hands and/or feet; feeling more tired than usual; nausea and vomiting; headache, dizziness; severe itching; shortness of breath; loss of appetite; and high blood pressure. “In the early stages of kidney disease many people do not show any symptoms, which is why screening tests are so important,” said Dugan W. Maddux, MD, FACP, vice president, Chronic Kidney Disease Initiatives at FMCNA. “It is much better to know early if you have CKD because there are often interventions that can slow its progression.” 5 Tips to Help Slow the Progression of Kidney Disease During National Kidney Month, FMCNA urges people at risk for kidney disease to follow these five tips that may help detect and slow the progression of the disease: 1. Make sure you are screened for CKD if you have diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease.