National Kidney Month Brings Awareness and Empowerment
March is National Kidney Month, and DaVita is expanding our efforts to raise awareness about chronic kidney disease (CKD) – a condition that impacts more than one in seven U.S. adults and is the ninth leading cause of death in the country.
“People with kidney disease usually don’t have symptoms until they have lost most of their kidney function,” said Francesca Tentori, MD, MSCI, medical director for DaVita Outcomes Research. “Because of this, it’s important we all understand if we are at risk for kidney disease and make steps to prevent it.”
Kidneys are the body’s filtration system, removing waste and extra fluid while balancing chemicals that are necessary to kidney function. Individuals with kidney disease lose the ability to effectively remove waste from the body. When CKD progresses to end stage renal disease (ESRD), dialysis or a kidney transplant is vital for survival.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are the most common causes of kidney disease. With kidney disease, kidneys usually deteriorate over time, though treatment has been shown to slow progression. Lifestyle changes, including eating healthy and managing medications may help CKD from progressing to ESRD and prevent other health conditions, like heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Women are three percent more likely to have CKD than men.
- African Americans are more than three times more likely to develop kidney failure than Caucasians.
- Hispanics are 35 percent more likely than non-Hispanics to develop ESRD.
DaVita offers a variety of educational resources about kidney care and kidney disease management, including:
- Risk Quiz – This 60-second assessment can help individuals determine if they may be at risk for kidney disease.
- Kidney Smart® Classes – Whether an individual has been diagnosed with kidney disease or wants to know more about kidney health, these no-cost classes are open to the community.
- myDaVita– From tracking a kidney-friendly diet to accessing dialysis health records, this resource can help users understand all aspects of kidney care, whether someone has kidney disease or is an individual who cares for someone with the condition.
- Kidney-Friendly Cookbooks– DaVita has a collection of kidney-friendly recipes from slow cooker dishes to springtime favorites and more.
- Treatment Resource Hub – Patients can learn about treatment options to help cope with ESRD such as dialyzing at home or in a center while waiting to receive a kidney transplant.