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 23, 2006
(New York, NY ) – January 23, 2006 -- It may be hard to believe that simple urine and blood tests can be life saving, but it’s true.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, there are tests that can detect the presence of chronic kidney disease (CKD), a condition in which your kidneys are not functioning properly. Healthy kidneys filter and eliminate wastes and drugs from the body, balance the body’s fluids, release hormones that regulate blood pressure, produce a form of vitamin D that promotes strong bones and control the production of red blood cells. CKD can also lead to heart disease, high blood pressure and anemia, and can be fatal if not caught and treated early enough.
Make sure that you have the following tests if you have risk factors for CKD such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, a family history of CKD or a personal or family history of protein and blood in the urine. Others who should be extra vigilant about having these tests are those age 60 and older and people in the African American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander ethnic groups; these groups are more susceptible to developing kidney disease than the population at large.
There are vital tests to take:
Your degree of kidney function and the stages of kidney disease you may have are largely determined by your GFR and are described as follows, according to the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (K/DOQI).
Description: kidney damage (such as blood or protein in the urine) and normal filtration rate
GFR: more than 90
Description: kidney damage and mild decrease in filtration rate
GFR: 60 to 89
Description: moderate decrease in filtration rate
GFR: 30 to 59
Description: Severe decrease in filtration rate.
GFR: 15 to 29
Description: kidney failure (dialysis or kidney transplantation needed)
GFR: Less than 15
“If you or a family member are at increased risk, early detection through screenings can prevent chronic kidney disease from turning into kidney failure,” says (spokesperson).
To find out about the free screenings through the National Kidney Foundation’s Kidney Early Evaluation Program (KEEP) call 800-622-9010 or log on to www.keeponline.org.