This Holiday Season, Help End the Wait!

E-Kidney Newsletter February 2010

 

Top 5 Kidney-Related Myths and Misconceptions

Overlooked, overworked and misunderstood. Your wife? No, actually, it's your kidneys we're talking about. They're on call 24/7 filtering toxins from your body, regulating fluids and blood pressure. Yet, most people don't know where they are, let alone what they or what the warnings signs and risk factors are for kidney disease. This month, Dr. Leslie Spry, National Kidney Foundation spokesperson, sets the record straight on some common kidney-related misconceptions

 


Love LifeCouple Shares Life, Love and… "Lolita" the Kidney

Just after Bill and Elizabeth Myers were married in 2001, Bill discovered that polycystic kidney disease had caused his kidneys to fail. Elizabeth immediately volunteered to become his kidney donor. However, the first hurdle was testing to see if she was a match. Click here to see how this well-matched couple now celebrate Valentine's and every day.

 

 

Failing Kidneys Can Lead to Thinning Bones

Even slight kidney impairment can speed up the loss of bone mineral density (BMD) among older people, putting them at risk of potentially disabling fractures, according to new research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

 

 

A Heart-Shaped Dessert That's Good for the Kidneys

Don't let kidney disease get in the way of romance this Valentine's Day. Celebrate love with a candlelight dinner and cap off the feast with a heart shaped sweetheart dessert that's kidney-friendly.

 

 

 

SAVE 20% on a "Love Your Kidneys" Scarf that She'll... well, She'll Love!

As you're showering your valentine with affection this year, why not remind her to save some love for her kidneys with this elegant "Love Your Kidneys" silk scarf. This 44-inch long 100% silk scarf is both a show stopper and a conversation starter, with "Love Your Kidneys" translated into 22 languages. Matching men's tie available, too. Enter Promo Code ekidney210 at checkout and SAVE 20% on this and EVERYTHING in the NKF Online Store

 

 

 

Snow's on the Ground but Spring is in the Air

Groundhog Day is approaching and regardless of the furry one's forecast, winter is closing in. Trade your galoshes for sneakers and plan to step out for the NKF Kidney Walks. Bring your family, friends and co-workers to a fun and inspiring Kidney Walk in your community. Show your support, sign up now at www.kidneywalk.org.

 

 

 

 

 

Got Talent? Enter our 60th Anniversary Art Contest.


 

 

Top 5 Kidney-Related Myths and Misconceptions

Overlooked, overworked and misunderstood. Your wife? No, actually, it's your kidneys we're talking about. They're on call 24/7 filtering toxins from your body, regulating fluids and blood pressure. Yet, most people don't know where they are, let alone what they or what the warnings signs and risk factors are for kidney disease. This month, Dr. Leslie Spry, National Kidney Foundation spokesperson, sets the record straight on some common kidney-related misconceptions

  1. I have back pain so it must be my kidneys. Pain in the back may come from kidney disease if you have infection or blockage of the kidneys. Other forms of kidney disease rarely cause pain in the back. The most common cause of back pain is disease of the muscles or spine and not kidney disease. The kidney can only feel pain if the covering of the kidney (called the capsule) is stretched. This means swelling of the kidney from either infection or blockage of urine flow (such as a kidney stone) will result in pain that typically radiates from the flank and may come around the side to cause pain down into the groin area.

  2. I don't have any trouble passing my urine so my kidneys must be fine. Even patients who are on dialysis make urine most every day. Damaged kidneys will continue to make urine even if they no longer properly clean your blood. Kidney disease can be completely without symptoms. The only way you can tell if you have kidney disease is to have blood and urine testing as recommended by the National Kidney Foundation.

  3. As I age, it is normal for my blood pressure to be higher. While it is true that blood pressure gradually increases with age, many elderly patients still have a normal blood pressure. Normal blood pressure is still 120/80 at any age and if your blood pressure is elevated, you should be evaluated by your physician. Studies have continued to show a benefit of treating even very elderly patients for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is the second most common cause of kidney disease and is the most common cause of kidney disease in the elderly.

  4. I can feel my blood sugar and regulate it on the basis of how I feel. Unfortunately, the longer you have diabetes the less likely this is true. Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney disease and patients with chronic kidney disease develop two complications related to diabetes. They are less likely to notice changes in blood sugar the way they used to. This is because diabetes gradually injures the body nerves in exactly the same way as it does the kidney. Hence your ability to "feel" your blood sugar is lost as one develops progressive kidney disease. Second, the kidney helps to break down insulin in the body. As kidney function is lost, insulin tends to last longer in the body. Loss of kidney function can result in very low blood sugars for prolonged periods of time as the insulin lasts longer and longer in the body.

  5. If my blood pressure is normal, I don't need to take my blood pressure pills. Patients with kidney disease need to maintain a normal blood pressure and the use of specific blood pressure agents such as ACE-inhibitors and ARB agents help to protect the kidney against damage. So, in addition to maintaining control of the blood pressure, these agents are kidney-protective and should be taken as prescribed by your doctor.

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Couple Shares Life, Love and… "Lolita" the Kidney

Just after Bill and Elizabeth Myers were married in 2001, Bill discovered that polycystic kidney disease had caused his kidneys to fail. Elizabeth immediately volunteered to become his kidney donor. However, the first hurdle was testing to see if she was a match. Read below to see how this well-matched couple now celebrate Valentine's and every day.

"I knew I was A+ blood type," recalls Bill. But Elizabeth wasn't sure of her type. Not wanting to wait for an official test, she dug into her old notes from her days as an occupational therapy student. There she discovered that the newlyweds had one more thing in common -- the same blood type.

Later that year, Elizabeth's left kidney was transplanted into Bill. The kidney, which she has named "Lolita," has allowed Bill to continue his active life which includes playing racquetball in a local league, competing in the National Kidney Foundation U.S. Transplant Games (www.transplantgaames.org) and cruising on Lake Michigan in the couple's boat, "Soul Mate."

The donation has also strengthened their bond. "Since Elizabeth gave me Lolita, I've taken good care of her," says Bill. However, this Valentine's Day, Bill is making sure to celebrate it with Elizabeth and Lolita. Asked how it's possible for Bill to live harmoniously with the two of them, Bill jumps to answer. "Lolita is very dependable and she doesn't say much when Elizabeth and I are together."

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Failing Kidneys Can Lead to Thinning Bones

Even slight kidney impairment can speed up the loss of bone mineral density (BMD) among older people, putting them at risk of potentially disabling fractures, according to new research published in the February issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation.

"Our findings highlight the importance of estimating kidney function when evaluating patients for fracture risk," says lead researcher Sophie A. Jamal, MD, PhD, of the University of Toronto.

Most people who have chronic kidney disease (CKD), or who are at risk for this condition, don't know it, points out Dr. Kerry Willis, senior vice president for scientific activities at the National Kidney Foundation. "The new findings show the potential impact of early identification of kidney disease in preventing complications that can cause disability and premature death," Dr. Willis said.

When a person's kidney function is completely lost—a condition known as end-stage renal disease—he or she is at much greater risk of sustaining a hip fracture, Dr. Jamal and her colleagues explain in their report.

To better understand the relationship between more modest kidney impairment and bone loss, the researchers followed 191 men and 444 women age 50 and older for five years. They used two different techniques—estimated creatinine clearance and estimated glomerular filtration rate—to gauge patients' kidney function at the beginning of the study. The first test measures how quickly the kidneys clear creatinine (a waste product), from the blood, and the second gauges the speed at which fluid flows through the kidney. Study participants also had their BMD measured at the beginning of the study and five years later.

Dr. Jamal and her team found that the people with impaired kidney function lost BMD faster than those whose kidneys were working normally. For example, the study participants with the worst kidney function showed a 9.3 percent greater decrease in their lower spine BMD over a five-year period compared to those with normally functioning kidneys. The results were basically the same with either kidney function measure.

"Not only is this a substantial loss, but equally concerning is that the bone loss occurs with even modest impairment of kidney function," Dr. Jamal and her colleagues say.

To date, the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP)™ has screened 140,000 high-risk individuals for CKD, Dr. Willis said. Anyone 18 and older who has high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure should be screened for CKD, she added, which can be done with three simple tests: blood pressure measurement, a urine test for the presence of a protein called albumin, and a blood test for creatinine.

"Osteoporosis can lead to potentially disabling fractures of the spine and hip," she added. "Physicians should understand that even a slight decline of kidney function in their older patients could mean an increased risk of osteoporosis."

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A Heart-Shaped Dessert That's Good for the Kidneys

Don't let kidney disease get in the way of romance this Valentine's Day. Celebrate love with a candlelight dinner and cap off the feast with a heart shaped sweetheart dessert that's kidney-friendly.

 


Sweetheart's Dessert

8 servings

Meringue

3 egg whites, chilled

1/2 cup granulated sugar

Pre-heat the oven to 275 F., beat chilled egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then slowly add granulated sugar. On parchment paper draw 4 hearts as your outline (3 1/2 inches at the widest by 3 1/2 inches in length). Place the parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Fill the heart outlines with meringue, causing a dip or bowl like indentation. Bake the meringue for 1 hour, turn off the oven, don't open the door and leave the meringue in the oven over another 2 hours. This will dry out the meringue. After cooled, store the meringue in an air tight contain for up to 3 days.

Filling

4 cups frozen berries or 2 cups thawed

1 tablespoon of orange liqueur

3 oz. white chocolate

Mixed thawed berries, their juice and orange liqueur together and refrigerate several hours.

Just before serving, place white chocolate in a plastic sealable bag. Melt chocolate over warm water. When completely melted, spoon filling into meringue shell, cut a very small hole in the corner of the bag, and drizzle white chocolate over the berries and the meringue shell. Serve immediately.

Each shell will serve 2 people.

Analysis:

Calories 155, total fat 3.7 g, saturated fat 2.3 g, monounsaturated fat 0.9 g, polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g, cholesterol 1.9 mg, calcium 28.7 mg, sodium 33 mg, phosphorus 27 mg, potassium 119 mg, total carbohydrates 27 g, dietary fiber 2.5 g, sugar 23.5 g, protein 2.6 g

This recipe was submitted by CKD patient Chef Duane Sunwold.

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