Ask the Doctor
Questions about kidney disease? Risk factors? Signs and symptoms? Are you concerned about yourself, a friend or family member? Ask Dr. Spry.
In a popular 1970 song, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell asked, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone"—a question that could have been aimed at people with chronic kidney disease (CKD). The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining overall health but are rarely appreciated until they become damaged and can no longer do their jobs.
Unless Americans start doing more to protect kidney health, untold millions could soon be singing the same sad song. Recent studies indicate that 26 million adults suffer from CKD and that this number is likely to increase in the future. To raise awareness during National Kidney Month (March, 2008) and to mark World Kidney Day (March 13), the National Kidney Foundation offers a list of 10 key functions healthy kidneys perform.
For more information, click here .
Nearly 1.5 million residents of Beijing, China, have kidney disease, and only a handful of them know it—a surprising finding, published in the current issue of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases on the eve of World Kidney Day, marked this year on March 13, 2008.
These findings demonstrate that kidney disease is common not only in western societies, but also in developing nations, where the rates of diabetes and high blood pressure – two major risk factors for kidney disease -- have risen dramatically in recent years. In a survey of nearly 14,000 adults living in Beijing, 13% showed signs of kidney damage consistent with a diagnosis of chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can progress to kidney failure, requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant. Recent estimates from the U.S. place the rate of CKD at 13.1% of the population as well. That amounts to 26 million American adults, most of whom are completely unaware of their condition.
To learn more, click Here.
Five hundred thousand commuters race through Grand Central Terminal—sometimes called the heart of New York City--every day on their way to work. On March 13, World Kidney Day, they'll have the opportunity to stop and check out how well their kidneys are performing at their job of maintaining overall health. The National Kidney Foundation will host a free health screening at the world's largest train station that is designed to educate the public about risk factors for kidney disease on World Kidney Day.
The screening, sponsored by Quest Diagnostics, will offer New Yorkers a quick way to check up on their kidneys with a brief health risk appraisal, blood pressure and BMI measurement as well as consultation with an onsite doctor to discuss next steps.
For more information about free health screenings and other World Kidney Day activities across the country, click here .
When's the last time you checked your filter?
Before you think about calling your mechanic, think about this: we're not talking about your car. We're talking about your body. Your car actually has three filters. Your body has only one filtering system: the kidneys. And this miraculous pair of fist-sized organs is responsible for keeping your human machine clean and running smoothly, for a lifetime.
As National Kidney Month (March) and World Kidney Day (March 13) approach, the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is leading a campaign to remind all Americans that maintaining their body's filter can be as routine as regular engine check-ups. That's because taking just a few simple tests can help keep those internal filters trouble-free.
But you can get even more mileage from this road trip. Once you've checked under your human hood and made sure your kidneys are functioning properly, you can then use your car to make yourself feel even better by supporting the NKF. Click here to learn how.
A devoted single mother, competitive athlete and all-around dynamo, Delia Jervier has neither the time nor inclination for self-pity. "I don't like the whole 'why me?' mentality - I won't have it," says Jervier, 37, who was diagnosed with kidney failure two years ago.
Jervier became a chronic kidney disease patient without any real warning. Seemingly healthy and fit, she had gone to a hospital emergency room after experiencing heavy bleeding. She was admitted for tests and stunned speechless by the diagnosis: kidney failure.
To learn more about Jervier's experience with kidney disease, click here.
The vast majority of people at risk for kidney and heart problems have not reduced their blood pressure to healthy levels
Among people at risk for kidney and cardiovascular problems, only one in 10 have blood pressure that falls within a healthy range, according to a new study published in the March issue of the American Journal of Medicine. The report is released in conjunction with the observance of National Kidney Month during March and World Kidney Day on March 13 in recognition of the worldwide significance of kidney disease as a public health problem.
For more on this new study, click Here.
How much do you really know about your kidneys and their role in maintaining overall health? In a recent survey, fifty percent of respondents were unaware of the kidney's most basic function -- filtering 200 liters of blood every single day to maintain balance and health in the body.
See how you do. Click here to take the interactive online kidney quiz.
After the quiz, you can order a FREE copy of the 20-page brochure "Are You at Increased Risk for Chronic Kidney Disease?" We'll send it to you via e-mail or regular mail in English or Spanish. You'll also be eligible to win an autographed copy of the new book Glamour Interrupted, How I Became the Best-Dressed Patient in Hollywood by fashion guru, Steven Cojocaru.