Kidney disease–trying to get noticed!

The numbers overall are pretty shocking. 

  • 37 million adults in the US have chronic kidney disease
  • 1 in 7 adults with chronic kidney disease
  • Almost 100, 000 people are on the waitlist for a kidney transplant
  • Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death

The most shocking part though is that many people are not aware of the potential risk of kidney disease and miss the opportunity to be screened and treated early before they ever develop end stage kidney disease where the treatment options are dialysis or transplantation.   Beyond the medical complications of kidney disease, there is an increased rate of cardiovascular complications.  Considering the prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, the two most common causes of kidney disease, it is surprising that kidney disease is not talked about more. The fact that most people are asymptomatic early on in their course helps lessen the concern. The newest statistic might be the one that gets your attention. 

  • 1 in 3 have a lifetime risk of having kidney disease. 

1 in 3 is not a small number that can be easily ignored.  It is harder to say that is something rare and something that you don’t need to be worried about.  Knowing your risk of kidney disease and working on managing the risk factors for progression early on can change the course of kidney disease. 

So where do we start. Start with are you at risk.  It starts with a simple quiz.

Armed with that information, you can have a discussion with your primary care physician and the simple testing to screen you for kidney disease.  Knowing this information earlier is invaluable.  Of the 37 million adults with kidney disease, the majority are the early stages and have an opportunity to slow down changes in the kidney function.  While you and your primary care provider will come up with a plan individualized to your health history and lab work, there are some general things you can start.

To keep your kidneys healthy:

  • Watch you’re the salt (sodium) in your diet to about 2000mg per day
    • Limit the processed foods
    • Daily exercise such as walking for about 30 minutes per day
    • Keep a healthy way
    • Blood pressure control
    • Blood sugar control
    • Not smoking
  • 1 in 3 have a lifetime risk of having kidney disease. 

Are you in that 33% of people with kidney disease?