Letter: Know Your Risks of Kidney Disease

I am a resident of Fairfield County and also a Nephrology Nurse Practitioner. 

March is National Kidney Month, and I would like to share some simple and concise information about kidney disease with members of the Fairfield community. 

In 2019, 17.86 percent of Fairfield County residents had chronic kidney disease

According to the Center for Disease Control, kidney disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. it is estimated that about 40 percent of us are not aware of the diagnoses.  This is because kidney disease is silent. It doesn’t cause symptoms until a person is in the later stages.

Your kidneys help filter toxins out of your blood and also help you get rid of excess water. 

Once you have damage to your kidneys, it usually cannot be reversed.  You can only prevent it from getting worse with treatment. If your kidneys fail, you may require dialysis or a kidney transplant. 

The top two risk factors for developing kidney disease are high blood pressure (hypertension) and high blood sugar (diabetes).  Keeping your blood pressures less than 130/80 and your daily blood sugars less than 150 (A1c <7 percent) will help you to maintain healthy kidneys.  Heart disease, obesity, and genetics are also risk factors for kidney disease.

Keeping physically active and maintaining a healthy diet that is lower in salt and sugar can also help prevent kidney disease.

Your healthcare provider can screen for kidney disease with a blood and urine test. 

Additional online resources can be found at:

Heather Green, ACNP, CNN-NP

Fairfield County

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