Long-time National Kidney Foundation volunteer and former board member Bill Singleton put his "kidney where his mouth was" last month when he became an altruistic donor in the largest kidney exchange in the world. Click here for more.
Top 5 Tips to Keep Both Kidney and Heart Healthy
The headbone's connected to the jawbone, the jawbone's connected to the neckbone…and the kidney is connected to the heart. People whose kidneys have failed are three times as likely to have heart disease. Also, high blood pressure causes both kidney and heart disease. Click here for tips to help keep both kidney and heart healthy, from Dr. Leslie Spry, National Kidney Foundation spokesperson.
Making Magic with Memory Cells
Reared in a traditional Indian home, Geetha Chalasani listened respectfully when her beloved father tried to talk her out of becoming a doctor. He feared the demands would leave her little time for family. When Chalasani won a scholarship to study medicine and engineering, her father nudged her toward the latter. Click here to see how her career unfolded and the difference she's making through her NKF-funded work.
You've Counted on Us…Now We're Counting on You…
For the last six decades, the National Kidney Foundation has made a difference in the lives of millions touched by kidney disease –
patients, family members, transplant recipients, living donors, donor families and health care professionals. Click the play button on the video image to meet and hear from just a few…and support our efforts with a contribution to our 60th anniversary campaign.
Warm up with Winter Vegetables
Is the view from your window a bleak landscape of bare trees and icy roadways? Spread some warmth and color with this hearty, vegetable dumpling dish from the Kidney Kitchen, perfect for those with chronic kidney disease stage 3 and 4 and everyone else in your family. Pull out your peeler and click here for the recipe.
NKF's 60th anniversary 2010 commemorative calendar
Haven't gotten your 2010 desk calendar yet? Take advantage of the discount on NKF's 60th anniversary 2010 commemorative calendar special for e-kidney readers. Enter EKidney110 for the promo code.
From NKF Volunteer to Altruistic Kidney Donor
Long-time National Kidney Foundation volunteer and former board member Bill Singleton put his "kidney where his mouth was" last month when he became an altruistic donor in the largest kidney exchange in the world.
Thirteen people with kidney disease received the gift of life over a six-day period at Georgetown University Hospital and Washington Hospital Center. Singleton started the chain of kindness when he donated his kidney to a 42-year old cab driver and father of three from Washington, DC— a man he had never met before.
"I realized that there was a tremendous need and I wanted to be helpful," said Bill, a 62 year-old retired stockbroker. "It's always been in the back of my mind to do it for a family member or friend, and then it dawned on me that if there were more altruistic donors, then people wouldn't have to rely on family and friends. I've also met quite a number of recipients and donors and I've seen how people's lives change for the better with a transplant. We could all End the Wait! You help yourself by helping others."
Top 5 Tips to Keep Both Kidney
and Heart Healthy
The headbone's connected to the jawbone, the jawbone's connected to the neckbone…and the kidney is connected to the heart. People whose kidneys have failed are three times as likely to have heart disease. Also, high blood pressure causes both kidney and heart disease. See below for tips to help keep both kidney and heart healthy, from Dr. Leslie Spry, National Kidney Foundation spokesperson.
- Don't smoke. The strongest modifiable risk factor for both kidney and heart disease is smoking. There is nothing you can do that is more important in the prevention of both heart and kidney disease as stopping smoking. Smoking causes hardening of the arteries which causes both coronary artery disease and nephrosclerosis, or damage to the kidney's filtering units. Smoking is also a risk factor for high blood pressure which can cause both heart and kidney disease.
- Control your blood pressure. High blood pressure causes both kidney and heart disease. High blood pressure puts stress on the heart, causing enlargement and thickening of the heart. This ultimately leads to heart failure. High blood pressure causes damage to the blood vessels leading to the kidney filters (called glomeruli). You are born with 3 million filters and as you damage the blood vessels going to the filters, they stop functioning and when you get down to 300,000 filters you will need dialysis or transplant. Heart failure will complicate your chances of effectively performing dialysis or having a kidney transplant. ACE-inhibitors and ARB agents are high blood pressure drugs that are effective in treating both kidney disease and heart disease.
- Eat a proper diet. This should be patterned after the DASH diet. The DASH diet encourages low salt intake with increases in vegetables and low fat dairy products. The DASH diet has been shown to lower blood pressure and help to maintain a healthy body weight. In general, you should take in about 2000 to 3000 milligrams of salt per day. Calorie intake should be 20 to 25 calories per kilogram of body weight. You should limit fat and cholesterol intake to no more than 30% of calories and if you have a high cholesterol, fat and cholesterol should be limited further to no more than 20% of calories. You may need to consult with a dietitian for specific eating recommendations.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. This requires balancing calorie intake with exercise and activity. Each pound of fat accounts for approximately 4000 calories of food intake in excess of activity. Hence, to burn off a pound of fat you must exercise to 4,000 calories in excess of your intake. Ideal body weight is a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 25. Overweight is between 25 and 30 and obesity is defined as a BMI in excess of 30.
- Have your physician test you for both heart and kidney disease. It turns out that heart disease is a risk factor for kidney disease and kidney disease is a known risk factor for heart disease. Hence, if you know you have one, you should have yourself tested for the other.
Making Magic with Memory Cells
Reared in a traditional Indian home, Geetha Chalasani listened respectfully when her beloved father tried to talk her out of becoming a doctor. He feared the demands would leave her little time for family. When Chalasani won a scholarship to study medicine and engineering, her father nudged her toward the latter.
She gently – but firmly – pushed back. "I was resolute," says the 36-year-old Chalasani, "and he let me choose my path." Now, he couldn't be prouder of his daughter, the first physician and scientist in the family, who also happens to have a supportive husband and 9-year-old son.
A nephrologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Immunology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Chalasani loves teaching tomorrow's doctors and caring for her kidney patients. But it is the research and its possibilities that make her glad she followed her heart. "The challenge and service-oriented nature of medicine was a perfect choice for me," she says.
Chalasani is determined to unlock the mystery of how and why memory cells – T and B cells – in our immune system can cause the body to reject a transplanted organ. Memory cells are good, in that they protect us from infection. For example, getting a flu vaccine helps our body make memory cells, which become an elite fighting force when influenza strikes. Unfortunately, memory cells also can turn against the transplanted organ, not resting until the body rejects it.
The NKF Research Fellowship awarded to Chalasani was crucial to her work in understanding how memory cells perform their magic, and if they can be suppressed to prevent organ rejection. Her work is painstaking and slow. "A lot of times we don't know for months whether what we are working with will succeed," she says. "It's two steps forward and one step back, stretching our optimism thin."
Ah, but when it works, she rhapsodizes, "It's the joy in finding a missing piece that adds to putting the puzzle together and the hope that what we do matters to patients in the long run. That's what keeps me going!"
To support NKF's research program click here.
Warm up with Winter Vegetables
Is the view from your window a bleak landscape of bare trees and icy roadways? Spread some warmth and color with this hearty, vegetable dumpling dish from the Kidney Kitchen, perfect for those with chronic kidney disease stage 3 and 4 and everyone else in your family.
Roasted Winter Vegetables with Dumplings
3 whole shallots
4 garlic cloves
2 red onions, julienne
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 head fennel, sliced
3 zucchini, sliced
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
¼ cup Marsala
4 cups of low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup water
1/2 bay leaf
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
Don't peel shallots or garlic, place in a baking dish and put into a pre-heated 400 F oven. Divide onions, carrots, fennel and zucchini onto 2 rimmed cookie sheets. Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over each pan and toss until all of the vegetables have been covered with oil. Roast vegetables in the 400 F oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, tossing the vegetables every 15 to 20 minutes. The vegetables should be very brown on the edges when finished. Garlic and shallots should be finished roasting about the same time as the vegetables, they will have a brown paper covering over them when they are done roasting. Remove from the oven, peel the paper skin off garlic & shallots, add to a heavy bottom stock pot, add Marsala and cook over medium-heat for 2 to 3 minutes, add roasted vegetables, stock, water, rosemary and thyme. Bring to slow simmer.
2 1/2 cups biscuit mix
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water
In a bowl add biscuit mix and water and stir into a soft dough. Drop tablespoons of dough on top of the vegetable mixture making sure not to double layer the dough or stir the vegetables. Keep the pot at a slow simmer; cook the dumplings uncovered for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes cover the pot and keep at slow simmer for another 20 minutes to finish cooking the tops of the dumplings.
Calories 287, total fat 10 g, saturated fat 1.9 g, monounsaturated fat 5.3 g, polyunsaturated fat 2.0 g, cholesterol 0.8 mg, calcium 147 mg, sodium 754 mg, phosphorus 323 mg, potassium 763 mg, total carbohydrates 44 g, dietary fiber 5.5 g, sugar 10.7 g, protein 7 g
This recipe was submitted by CKD patient Chef Duane Sunwold.