National Kidney Foundation Calls Chronic Kidney Disease Growing Public Health Problem Offers Six-Step Health Primer
(NEW YORK) — Most Americans know that heart disease and cancer can be silent killers and understand that monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol and having regular mammograms are critical to protecting their health. Too few adults—and not enough doctors—realize, however, that chronic kidney disease (CKD) is another common, life-threatening illness that often goes undetected until very advanced when it could be diagnosed early through simple tests.
Recent studies report that 26 million Americans suffer from CKD and millions more are at risk. Worse, today’s epidemics of diabetes and obesity could contribute to even higher rates of CKD in the future. Undiagnosed and untreated, CKD can lead to serious health problems including kidney failure (end-stage renal disease). Caught early, it can often be managed, and kidney damage can be slowed or stopped. That’s why early testing for people at risk is so important.
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) offers this 6-step primer for protecting health.
|6 Things Healthy Kidneys Do:|
|8 Problems CKD Can Cause:|
|4 Main Risk Factors:|
|10 Additional Risk Factors:|
|8 Possible Trouble Signs:|
Most people with early CKD have no symptoms, which is why early testing is critical. By the time symptoms appear, CKD may be advanced, and symptoms can be misleading. Pay attention to these:
If you or a loved one belong to a high-risk group, ask your primary-care physician about these tests—and be especially insistent about the last one. Your doctor may want to perform other tests as well.
|4 Simple, Life-Saving Tests:|
High blood pressure can damage small blood vessels (glomeruli) in the kidneys. It is the second-leading cause of kidney failure after diabetes.
Below 140/90 is good for most people. Below 130/80 is better if you have chronic kidney disease. Below 120/80 is best.
Protein in Urine
Traces of a type of protein, albumin in urine (albuminuria) is an early sign of CKD. Persistent amounts of albumin and other proteins in the urine (proteinuria) indicate kidney damage.
Less than 30 mg of albumin per gram of urinary creatinine (a normal waste product)
Creatinine in Blood (Serum Creatinine)
Healthy kidneys filter creatinine (a waste product from muscle activity) out of the blood. When kidney function is reduced, creatinine levels rise.
0.6 to 1.2 mg per deciliter of blood, depending on other variables
Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR)
This is the most sensitive and accurate gauge of kidney function. Doctors measure blood creatinine levels and perform a calculation based on age, race, and gender.
Over 90 is good. 60-89 should be monitored. Less than 60 for 3 months indicates CKD.
|6 Things People with CKD Should Do:|
|9 Things Everyone Should Do:|
If you would like more information, please contact us.
© 2014 National Kidney Foundation. All rights reserved. This material does not constitute medical advice. It is intended for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment recommendations.