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.
New York, NY
January 30, 2004
More than 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, and another 20 million more are at increased risk, according to the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), yet most don’t even know it. During March, National Kidney Month, the NKF urges all Americans, especially those at increased risk, to get tested for kidney disease.
“Chronic kidney disease usually causes no symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage, but simple tests can be done to detect kidney disease early,” said Brian J.G. Pereira, M.D., president of NKF. “If caught early enough, chronic kidney disease can be treated to prolong or even prevent associated complicating factors, such as heart disease,” Pereira concluded.
According to Pereira, it’s important that people visit their doctor or a clinic to find out if they could be at increased risk for chronic kidney disease. Anyone can get chronic kidney disease, but some people are more likely than others to develop it. People in high-risk groups include:
The National Kidney Foundation recommends three simple tests for those at risk: blood pressure measurement, urinalysis to check for protein and a blood test to test for the level of serum creatinine, a waste build-up that would indicate that the kidneys are not doing their job of filtering the blood well enough.
Kidney disease strategies include:
For more information about chronic kidney disease, call the National Kidney Foundation at (800) 622-9010. The NKF is a major voluntary health organization seeking to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well-being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.