Reach Kidney Care | Kidney Disease Info
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Kidney disease affects over 30 million people in the United States … and most people don’t know it!

WHAT IS KIDNEY DISEASE?

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is often referred to as the silent killer. It is the gradual loss of kidney function.

 

Those with CKD often go on to permanent kidney failure. The damage that results from chronic kidney disease cannot be reversed. 

 

The two most common causes of kidney disease are diabetes and high blood pressure. If your family has a history of any kind of kidney problems, you may be at risk for kidney disease.

 

If your kidney function drops below 15 percent, you will need some form of kidney replacement therapy – either dialysis or a transplant – in order to live.

 

However, with proper intervention and education, kidney failure can sometimes be prevented or delayed by adjusting diet, medications or incorporating more physical activity into your lifestyle.

 

And, that’s where REACH Kidney Care comes into play.

KIDNEY DISEASE RISK FACTORS

  • Diabetes

    Diabetes

    … is the number one cause of kidney failure. According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, “Diabetes is the most common cause of kidney failure, accounting for nearly 44 percent of new cases.”

  • High Blood Pressure

    High Blood Pressure

    … may indicate you have a hereditary condition that causes kidney failure. If you have a family member with kidney disease, you should have your kidney function evaluated.

  • Family History of Kidney Disease

    Family History of Kidney Disease

    … may indicate you have a hereditary condition that causes kidney failure. If you have a family member with kidney disease, you should have your kidney function evaluated.

  • Heart Disease

    Heart Disease

    … affects the blood vessels and in turn can cause damage to the kidneys. If you have a history of heart disease, you should talk to your doctor about your kidney function.

  • Heritage

    Heritage

    … African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans and Asian Americans – are at higher risk for kidney disease. While anyone can develop kidney disease, minorities appear to have an increased risk.

  • Age

    Age

    … Being 60 years of age and older may place you in an increased risk category because the kidneys naturally lose some function along with the aging process.

STAY ON TOP OF YOUR KIDNEY HEALTH

Step 1

Do you have a primary care (family) doctor?

If you have a doctor, great! You need to visit your doctor for annual check-ups.

If you don’t have a primary care (family) doctor, you need to find one.

Do you have insurance? If so, your insurance company may have a list of doctors on their website. (for example: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee has a doctor finder here)

If you don’t have insurance, you may want to explore the public health resources in your area. You can start exploring your options by clicking here.

Step 2

Get an annual health exam.

You may think, “I don’t feel sick, so I don’t need to see a doctor.” However, how you feel is not always the most accurate indication of your health.

Did you know that Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a silent killer and often there are no symptoms or side effects until the kidneys fail?It’s true. So, schedule your health exam and know if you are at risk.

Discuss these things with your doctor:

  1. Are you diabetic? What is your A1C? What is normal for you? If not normal, what steps can you take to control it?
  2. Do you have high blood pressure? What is your blood pressure reading? What is normal? If not normal, what steps can you take to control it?
  3. How well are your kidneys working? (Your doctor may complete two tests to determine your kidney function. One test simply checks for protein in your urine, which can be a sign of kidney disease. Protein can leak into the urine when the filters in the kidneys are damaged. Another test is the GFR, a blood test measures how much blood your kidneys filter each minute,  A GFR of 60 or higher is in the normal range. A GFR below 60 may mean you have kidney disease.

Step 3

If you are at risk, ask for a referral.

Let your doctor know that you are interested in managing your risk for kidney disease.

You can ask your doctor to provide a referral to the Reach Kidney Care for individualized help with your kidney care needs.

Choose a location from the toolbar and download the referral form.

Step 4

Arm yourself with education.

We encourage you to talk to your doctor first.

Then, know that we are available to help.

We understand that you may want to take the time to do a little research on your own.

Here are a few useful links to help you explore ways to maintain complete health:

Diabetes- visit the American Diabetes Association site.

High blood pressure- visit theAmerican Heart Association site.

Kidney Disease- there are several good resources: