Many Virginians know nothing about kidney disease—until it's too late

 

"Unlike many diseases, kidney disease often has no symptoms until it is very advanced," says Wallace S. Green Sr., Founder of Health & Awareness, eight years dialysis patient, and a two-time kidney recipient.

For more than 30 years I had this progressive disease and was unaware of the increasing damage it was causing.  Your health provider can order a simple test to check your kidneys - glomerular filtration rate (GFR) this show how well your kidneys are working. (It is recommended to request the actual GFR numbers between 120 and 15). The GFR normally give is <60 is a normal range and 60> may mean you have kidney disease is what’s given to patients most often.  Without the actual GFR number between 120 and 15, It’s you are not a part of your treatment plan, you are unable to identify your kidney function trend.

Sure, doctors ask if we have questions – most patients find it difficult to ask the right questions about something they are not knowledgeable about? Choose a doctor that treats you like a patient and not a collage colleague! Kidney disease can be treated very effectively if it is caught in the early stages. Dietitians and Nutrition are very important parts if they have knowledge of all your medical issues and trained in the chronic disease field you require eating limitations.

“There is no such thing as one size fits all in medical treatment.”

For this reason and others, it is crucial for people to not only become aware of the risk but also comply and take part in health care provider's treatment plan and self-management in known risk factors since kidney disease also makes them a risk for heart disease and stroke higher.

If you answer yes to any of the following questions you are at risk and you should get a kidney screening, learn the meaning of your lab code and what causes your results to raise or lower (food, medication, lack of exercise, lifestyle, etc.). Testing is even more important for the African Americans population that are at higher risk for kidney disease.

Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, a family history of kidney disease, obesity, gout?

If one or both kidneys fail completely and the damage can't be reversed, the condition is called kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). When this occurs, your kidneys can no longer filter wastes well enough to keep you healthy. The symptoms for ESRD include fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and itching.

Many researchers are studying kidney disease. They are looking for cures, ways to improve diagnosis, make treatments more effective, and make dialysis and transplantation work better. The good news is that kidney disease can be treated very effectively, Health & Awareness is working hard to bring awareness and raise chronic kidney disease prevention in while kidney disease is in the early stages until research find a cure!

WallACE S. Green Sr.

Keep Your Kidneys Healthy

The steps you take to keep your kidneys healthy help the rest of your body too. Talk to your healthcare provider to find out the steps that are right for you.

If you are at risk for kidney disease, the most important steps you can take to keep your kidneys healthy are:

  • Take an active step in your health care - self-manage

  • Get your blood and urine checked for kidney disease.

  • Learn how to read and understand each of your lab results

  • Manage your diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Tips to help keep your kidneys healthy:

  • Keep your blood pressure at the target set by your healthcare provider. For most people, the blood pressure target is less than 140/90 mm Hg. This can delay or prevent kidney failure.

  • If you have diabetes, control your blood glucose level.

  • Keep your cholesterol levels in the target range.

  • Take medicines the way your provider tells you to. (Important! Certain blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors and ARBs may protect your kidneys. Ask your health care provider for more information.)

  • Cut back on salt. Aim for less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium each day.

  • Choose foods that are healthy for your heart: fresh fruits, fresh or frozen vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy foods.

  • Limit your alcohol intake.

  • Be more physically active.

  • Lose weight if you are overweight.

  • If you smoke, take steps to quit. Cigarette smoking can make kidney damage worse.

When you see your provider, ask:

  • What is my GFR?

  • What is my urine albumin result?

  • What is my blood pressure?

  • What is my blood glucose (for people with diabetes)?

Bring questions and a list of your medication to your next medical visit.

 

Medical Mistakes Are The 3rd Leading Cause Of Death

WHEN IT COMES TO RECEIVING HEALTH CARE.

Many doctors are intimidated when you ask questions; warning doesn't let that prevent you from getting the answer you need to live a healthier life!

The consequences of a misdiagnosis can be devastating.  Your actual health condition can progress untreated.  Most people with Kidney disease are unaware they have it because of delayed preventive treatment and the individuals’ lack of knowledge of the cause and risk factors or simply unawareness of how to live with Kidney disease without requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant.

Some doctor begins dialysis (invasive or risky treatments) much too soon without providing the patient with Kidney disease prevention since the early stage of Kidney failure is preventable. Misdiagnosis offers unnecessary procedures and death.

The number of U.S. centers has increased by 4% every year, according to a June report by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission.  In 1998, there were 3,394 dialysis centers as of 2016 the Kidney dialysis center industry profile has grown to over 6,000 annual revenues of $19 billion.  Dialysis is big business; Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway announced Dialysis is America’s next big Market Opportunity.  While the company’s shareholders have been earning money hand over fist, Warren had stocks totaling over $37 million.  Only 8% of U.S. dialysis patients treat themselves at home. The vast majority of the more than 350,000 Americans on dialysis are treated in centers.

Virginian continual to be blindside, many with some doctor’s misdiagnosis Kidney disease and suggesting dialysis much too soon when the lab results could be a flu or a number of other medical conditions.  I have seen and was a victim of not being aware of preventive action which could be taken during my follow-up visit to the nephrologist (is a medical doctor who specializes in kidney care and treating diseases of the Kidneys) fell victim to dialysis.

While some doctors watch your Kidney rating decrease as progressing conditions and long-term consequences to your Kidney get worst and if proper measures are taken early dialysis, Kidney transplant or death could have been avoided.

Unfortunately, since my Kidney failure, I have notice Kidney disease misdiagnosis is not a rare event; starting with my mother.  After forming Health & Awareness and raising awareness to many the need for dialyzes has been required as recommended by medical doctors.

During my awareness presentation individuals with other diseases and conditions which are more commonly misdiagnosed includes cancer infection, heart attack, coronary artery disease, diabetes, Kidney disease better understands the importance of taking an active role in their health care, asking questions, reading and understand their lab and exam results that will help stop medical misdiagnosis.

Misdiagnosis can take place in your doctor's office, in a hospital in the emergency room or in a laboratory or over the phone. Many misdiagnoses occur because a doctor fails to listen to the patients or fail to order the correct tests; test results are not read correctly or rush to decision without considering lab results can apply to many symptoms and their medical professional choice fails to recognize your condition. It is extremely important that you understand how your misdiagnosis takes place, who is responsible and whether a reasonable standard level of care was provided and if you took an active role in your health care to eliminate misdiagnosis for you or your loved ones.  Many of us are suffering from a misdiagnosis because we do not realize we must learn to live for our self and visit health provider to treat us.

Health & Awareness are aimed at raising awareness, encourage the importance of asking questions and to take an active role in your healthcare.  No one knows your body better than you. I have experienced what could have been a life threaten medicine disaster, witness patients receiving the incorrect medicine, given the wrong meals while hospitalized, rush to decision and received medical care from providers that did not listen and talked.

Lack of communication and understanding between patients and medical providers is the most common reason for misdiagnosed in health conditions. These are the personal experience of the founder and other patients I spoke with.  I passionately believe that it is Health & Awareness that puts Prevention in Motion - Volunteers need to spread the word!

Wallace Green, Founder
Health & Awareness,