ANN ARBOR—The National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) is recognizing Kidney Month this March and World Kidney Day on March 8 by educating Michigan residents about preventing kidney disease and its leading causes: diabetes, hypertension, and obesity.
Although chronic kidney disease (CKD) is under diagnosed and often undertreated, it is often treatable and preventable. Nonetheless, early kidney disease has no symptoms and can become kidney failure with little or no warning, which is why it has been called the “silent killer.” Due to the increasing prevalence of health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, CKD has become a major health concern for Michigan residents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CKD was the eighth leading cause of death in the U.S. and diabetes (the leading cause of CKD) was the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2010.
More than 26 million American adults have CKD and millions more are at risk and don’t know it. In Michigan alone, more than 900,000 adults have CKD. Diabetes alone causes over 40 percent of kidney failure cases in Michigan. By controlling your diabetes or pre-diabetes, the chances of developing CKD can be reduced. For people with diabetes and at risk for it alike, it is important to start by creating a realistic set of goals for yourself to improve your health. Some small steps include: setting weight loss goals, making healthy food choices every day, and striving to become more physically active.
People with uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, or a relative with CKD are at risk for kidney disease and should make an appointment to have their kidneys evaluated. Others should follow health precautions to prevent the possibility of kidney failure. For a kidney friendly lifestyle that will help you reduce the risk of developing CKD, you should eat healthy, well-balanced meals; exercise regularly; quit smoking; and monitor your blood pressure.
For more information about preventing and controlling CKD or about local kidney screenings for Kidney Month, contact the NKFM at 800-482-1455 or visit nkfm.org. You can get information about diabetes from the National Diabetes Education Program by visiting ndep.nih.gov. All events, kidney screenings, health fairs, and more that are hosted by the NKFM for Kidney Month are listed at http://www.kidney.org/news/wkd/localEvents.cfm.
This information is partially funded by a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.