March marks National Kidney Month, which serves to raise awareness of kidney disease.
Idaho Urologic Institute Dr. Cynthia Fairfax said kidneys are important to overall health and help with liver health and fluid balance in the body, helping to filter out impurities in the body. It's estimated one in seven adults have a chronic kidney disease, which has symptoms ranging from difficulty breathing to pain throughout the body.
"If there's any pain with urination or pain in your back, blood in your urine or generally just feeling crumby, I would see your physician," Fairfax said. "Kidney disease can be kind of hard to identify symptoms because it can come on kind of slowly."
But there are steps people can take to help prevent any kidney diseases. Fairfax said simple steps like maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet, keeping blood pressure and diabetes under control, drinking plenty of water and minimizing smoking and alcohol intake.
"(National Kidney Month is important to) bring awareness to kidney health because I don't think people think about them until you get a kidney stone and all the sudden you are in the emergency room," Fairfax said. "Knowing there's things you can do to protect your kidneys... just making sure we take care of ourselves."
For more information on kidney health, call your regular doctor first.