WALTHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In support of World Kidney Day today, and throughout National Kidney Month in March, Fresenius Medical Care is raising awareness of the importance of kidney health by encouraging the public to learn about chronic kidney disease (CKD), as well as the risk factors that can lead to CKD, and consider getting screened for the disease.
Over 26 million people in the U.S. are believed to have CKD, a progressive, sometimes permanent, loss of kidney function that can take place over a period of months or years. Many people don’t realize they have CKD, however, because they may feel well and not have any symptoms. When CKD is very advanced some symptoms may develop including swelling, shortness of breath, decreased appetite, and nausea, but by that time it is usually too late to begin treatments to slow its progression.
Diabetes is the leading cause of CKD in the U.S., and almost one-half of patients who start dialysis have kidney disease caused by diabetes. High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is also a leading cause of CKD.
CKD is diagnosed with blood and urine tests that can be done by a primary care physician, as well as through free screenings offered by many communities and kidney health organizations such as the National Kidney Foundation and the American Kidney Fund. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend CKD screening for patients with a history of any of the following:
- High blood pressure (hypertension)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Age greater than 50 years
- A family history of kidney disease
Eating a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and remaining active with regular exercise are important ways for people to decrease their risk and control the progression of CKD. Maintaining an ideal body weight, healthy eating and regular exercise can also decrease the risks of developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as helping to control blood pressure and blood glucose for those who already have hypertension or diabetes.
“On World Kidney Day it is important to remind everyone, especially those with risk factors, to be screened for CKD, since good care can often prevent progression of the disease,” says Dr. Dugan W. Maddux, vice president of Kidney Disease Initiatives at FMCNA, the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities. “Primary care doctors and nephrologists often work together in teams to prevent CKD and the progression of CKD.”
To see an infographic on the “Top 10 Facts About Kidney Disease,” go to: http://www.ultracare-dialysis.com/~/media/CKD-Infographic/FMS-CKD-Infographic.pdf.
To learn more about all the treatments available for kidney failure, FMCNA also offers Treatment Options Programs (TOPs), which are open to the public at no cost, at locations around the country. For information or to find a nearby program, call toll-free 888-392-2393, or visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com/TOPS.
About Fresenius Medical Care North America
Through its leading network of more than 2,150 dialysis facilities in North America and vascular access centers, laboratory, pharmacy and affiliated hospitals and nephrology practices, Fresenius Medical Care provides renal services to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. It is also the continent’s top producer of dialysis equipment, dialyzers and related disposable products and a major supplier of renal pharmaceuticals. For more information about the company, visit www.fmcna.com; for information about patient services, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com.