SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Satellite Healthcare, a leading national not-for-profit and the 6th largest provider of patient-centered dialysis and kidney disease services, marked World Kidney Day today by issuing a unique challenge to its staff members and the community at large: Put yourself in the shoes of someone with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) by making a single adjustment to your daily life. Eat less salt.
One in three American adults has hypertension, or high blood pressure, and it is one of the most significant risk factors for developing CKD and, ultimately, experiencing kidney failure requiring dialysis treatment to stay alive. When someone is diagnosed with CKD, one of the very first things they are typically instructed to do is drastically lower their sodium intake in order to lower their blood pressure. Eating less salt also reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke.
“Our patients often tell us how difficult it is for them to slash the amount of salt in their diets, and we realized we could better understand them, and better serve them, if we tried to do the same thing ourselves,” said Rory Pace, Director of Nutrition Services at Satellite Healthcare.
Participants in Satellite Healthcare’s Salt Challenge agree to do their best to consume no more than 2,000 mg of sodium daily. That is the equivalent of one teaspoon of salt, and the maximum amount recommended for people with CKD. The average American consumes nearly twice that much. Over the course of the five-day Salt Challenge, participants are asked to keep journals to record what they eat and what the experience is like. They’re invited to post updates to Satellite Healthcare’s Facebook page as well as through other social media channels using the hashtag #humanizedialysis.
“In today’s fast-food, packaged-products culture, limiting salt intake can seem like an insurmountable challenge, but making an effort can reap numerous benefits to kidney disease patients, as well as seemingly healthy individuals,” said Pace. “Eating fresh rather than processed fish, poultry, pork and lean meats; cooking food from scratch; checking labels; and seasoning food with herbs, spices and citrus can go a long way in not only lowering risk for CKD and other diseases, but in helping a person feel much better all around.”
Dave Carter, Chief Operating Officer at Satellite Healthcare, undertook the challenge – and he admitted it turned out to be tougher than he’d anticipated. “I went into it with the mindset that I could readily change my ways but I didn’t fully comprehend the daily effort and focus that cutting back would require,” he remarked. “The important takeaway for me was that I realized there are indeed many low-salt choices that taste good and that left me feeling healthier. I also recognized how hard it is to do alone – the support from my family made it much easier. I have a much better understanding now of why our nutritionists make such an effort to work not only with the patients but also with their loved ones in helping to implement this kind of important dietary change.”
Satellite Healthcare team members from across the company took the challenge ahead of its official launch today, and recorded their surprising and informative experiences in a video available online at www.satellitehealth.com/saltchallenge. The ultimate goal is to humanize dialysis by bringing awareness to the challenges people with CKD face each day. Satellite invites the public to take the Salt Challenge and to use the hashtag #humanizedialysis when sharing photos, videos and updates about their experience through social media. Throughout National Kidney Month, the website www.kidneysdothat.org will also host low-sodium recipes and tips as a resource for Salt Challenge participants.
About Satellite Healthcare:
Satellite Healthcare, Inc., has been among the nation's leading not-for-profit providers of kidney dialysis and related services since 1974. Through its affiliated services, Satellite WellBound, Satellite Dialysis, and Satellite Research, Satellite Healthcare provides unparalleled early patient wellness education, personalized clinical services, and a complete range of dialysis therapy choices. In addition, Satellite Healthcare has a well-recognized, enduring commitment to philanthropy and community service, from funding millions of dollars in research grants to sponsoring kidney programs nationwide. Satellite is committed to advancing the standard of chronic kidney disease care so patients can enjoy a better life.