ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — March is National Kidney Month. Both men and women can be diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which may be more prevalent than most realize. According to the CDC, over 15 percent of all American adults are estimated to have it. However, women do face different challenges when it comes to kidney issues. 

It all comes down to anatomy. Women are more prone to infections, especially those who have been pregnant or have gone through menopause. 

News10 spoke with Dr. Jorge Cerda, Chief of the Department of Medicine at St. Peter’s Health Partners and professor at Albany Medical College, to determine how patients can best prevent kidney disease.

Dr. Cerda said the best thing a patient can do is simply ask for testing because they won’t always have symptoms regarding kidney problems. 

“The problem with the kidney is they don’t hurt,” Cerda said. “When you get the pain for the heart disease, or you can’t breathe cause you have lung disease, you know what you need to do, but kidneys seldom express their symptoms until it is too late.”

Dr. Cerda added that it’s all about preventing dialysis for kidney specialists, which can hinder the quality of life or even shorten it.

There are some warning signs patients can look out for when it comes to early detection of kidney complications. Although it’s uncomfortable to talk about, Dr. Cerda suggested taking a look in the toilet after you go to the bathroom to ensure there is no blood or foam in your urine. 

Additionally, Dr. Cerda said the best way to prevent kidney issues is by controlling diabetes, as diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease.

Early detection is critical for chronic kidney disease, and in most cases, all patients have to do is ask for a urinalysis to detect a range of kidneys issues.