Risks for kidney disease: How to keep your kidneys healthy this World Kidney Day

James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.

Happy World Kidney Day.

And you should be happy if your kidneys are functioning well.  You can’t live without at least one, you know.  Well, you can with treatment, but it’s such a pain.

Ask the approximately 150,000 Americans who have had to have a transplant, or the roughly 350,000 on dialysis.

And then there are the costs in dollars for treatment of end-stage renal disease (renal failure), over $32 billion per year, with Medicare fronting about $20 billion of that (6.7 percent of its overall expenditures).  The latest estimates are for a 60-percent increase by 2020.  Some of that is those with the disease will be living longer, but here is the take home message:

Over 50 percent of new cases are the result of the damage caused by diabetes or hypertension, two treatable, and often preventable, diseases.  If there ever were a case for prevention costing less than treatment ….

The National Kidney Foundation’s top-five risk factors for chronic renal disease are:

• You have diabetes
• You have high blood pressure or heart disease
• You have a family history of chronic kidney disease
• You are 60 years of age or older
• Your ethnic background is African-American, Hispanic, Asian or Pacific Islander

And, finally, the NKF offers 10 reasons to love your kidneys on World Kidney Day.  They:

1. Filter 200 liters of blood a day, removing two liters of toxins, wastes and water.
2. Regulate the body’s water balance.
3. Regulate blood pressure by controlling fluid levels and making the hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict.
4. Support healthy bones and tissues by producing the active form of vitamin D.
5. Produce the hormone that stimulates bone marrow to manufacture red blood cells.
6. Keep blood minerals in balance.
7. Keep electrolytes in balance.
8. Regulate blood acid levels.
9. Remove drugs from the blood.
10. Retrieve essential nutrients so that the body can reabsorb them.

Doctors and business owners: Send customized issues of James Hubbard’s My Family Doctor to your customers or patients. E-mail publisher-at-familydoctormag.com for details.

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9 Responses to “Risks for kidney disease: How to keep your kidneys healthy this World Kidney Day”

  1. FatFighterTV Says:

    Happy World Kidney Day to you, too! Who knew? :)

    FatFighterTVs last blog post..Good workout songs – YOUR favorites

  2. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    FatFighter, the banks are even open.

    James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.s last blog post..How to Help a Loved One: depression, alcoholism, addiction …

  3. Steve Parker, M.D. Says:

    Good advice, Dr Hubbard.

    I see dialysis patients every day in the hospital. You want to avoid dialysis and keep your kidneys healthy if at all possible.

    [I'm not telling people to never go on dialysis, of course. When it's necessary, do it. The alternative to necessary dialysis is usually death.]

    -Steve

    Steve Parker, M.D.s last blog post..How Do You Change Lifelong Eating Habits?

  4. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Dr. Parker, Dialysis wonderful, but very time consuming and expensive.

    James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.s last blog post..How to Help a Loved One: depression, alcoholism, addiction …

  5. Dr. J Says:

    Hard working organ’s our kidneys!!

    While working as a laboratory assistant for the summer while in college, I made a paperweight with kidneys embedded in plastic from a rat that was sacrificed in an experiment. Looking back, I guess it was a little different :-)

    Dr. Js last blog post..Rachael Ray’s tips for supermarket success

  6. Sagan Says:

    We have to appreciate our kidneys a little more! Definitely crucial to keep them in good condition.

    Sagans last blog post..Day Six of the Sugar Challenge

  7. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Dr. J,

    Doctors have a unique sense of humor, but you are in a class of your own.

    James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.s last blog post..How to Help a Loved One: depression, alcoholism, addiction …

  8. James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H. Says:

    Sagan,

    Most of us take them for granted kind of like unsung heroes I guess.

    James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H.s last blog post..How to Help a Loved One: depression, alcoholism, addiction …

  9. ocbody.com doc Says:

    World Kidney Day? I guess we have a day for just about everything else…..lol.

    ocbody.com docs last blog post..New Botched Plastic Surgery Lawsuits in Orange County

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