More than 900,000 people in Michigan have chronic kidney disease. . .
And most of them don’t even know it.
Find Out If You’re At Risk…And What You Can Do About It.
SOME FACTS ABOUT CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE (CKD) THAT MAY SURPRISE YOU
- 26 million Americans over the age of 20 have chronic kidney disease, also known as CKD. That number includes more than 940,000 adults in Michigan.
- Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S.
- High blood pressure is the second leading cause.
- African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans are at an increased risk for developing CKD from kidney disease.
- African-Americans are four times more likely to develop kidney failure because of diabetes than Caucasians.
- African Americans are also 6.5 times more likely to develop kidney failure because of high blood pressure.
- More than 70% of all kidney failure caused by diabetes or high blood pressure could be prevented or delayed by eating healthy, getting exercise, and taking the right medications.
Lead Exposure & Kidney Function: In light of the Flint Water Crisis, we've created a fact sheet to help answer questions you may have on how lead exposure relates to kidney function.
WHAT EXACTLY IS CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE?
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is permanent kidney damage or decreased level of kidney function that continues for three months or more. When left untreated, CKD can lead to complete kidney failure. If that happens, the only options for survival are dialysis or a kidney transplant.
WHAT CAUSES CKD?
In most cases, the damage is caused by diabetes and high blood pressure.
Diabetes occurs when your blood sugar is too high, resulting in damage to many organs and muscles in your body—including the kidneys and heart as well as blood vessels, nerves and eyes.
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, occurs when the pressure of your blood against the walls of your blood vessels increases. If not controlled, high blood pressure can lead to heart attacks, strokes and chronic kidney disease.
SYMPTOMS AND EARLY WARNING SIGNS
In the first phases of CKD, there are often no symptoms. However, a simple test for small amounts of protein in the urine can detect early-stage kidney disease. As the disease progresses, you might notice:
- Blood and/or protein in the urine
- A declining glomerular filtration rate (GFR)
- More frequent urination, especially at night
- Difficult or painful urination
- Puffiness around eyes, swelling of hands and feet, especially in children
TYPES OF KIDNEY DISEASE
There are a number of different types of kidney disease other than chronic kidney disease caused by uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. They include glomerular diseases, congenital and inherited kidney diseases, and other causes. Click here for information on Polycystic Kidney Disease.
HOW YOUR KIDNEYS WORK
The kidneys filter your body’s blood. Most people have two kidneys, located near the middle of their back, just below the rib cage. Kidneys remove waste products and extra fluid in the form of urine. This waste comes from the breakdown of food as it’s digested and from normal muscle activity.
Your kidneys perform other important jobs as well. They:
- Control the level of water and chemicals in your blood
- Remove drugs and toxins from your body
- Release hormones into your blood to help your body make blood cells, build bones and regulate blood pressure
ARE YOU AT RISK FOR CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE?
Check all the items that apply.
You are at high risk for CKD if you:
- Have diabetes
- Have high blood pressure
- Have family members with CKD
- Are African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, Pacific Islander
If you checked any of the items in the HIGH RISK category, it’s important that you see your doctor for three simple tests:
- Blood pressure measurement,
- Urinalysis to detect protein in the urine, and
- GFR – a calculation to measure your level of kidney function. Your doctor can calculate your GFR based on the results of a simple blood test. The calculation will also consider other factors such as your age, race, gender and body size.
WONDER IF YOU MIGHT HAVE CKD?
TALK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.
If you’re concerned about CKD, or have any of the high risk factors, here’s what your next steps should be:
- Talk to your doctor about your risk factors.
- Ask your doctor for your GFR.
- Check out the resources below:
HOW TO KEEP YOUR KIDNEYS HEALTHY
- Keep your blood pressure below 120/80 mm Hg (or the target your doctor establishes).
- Stay in your target blood sugar range as much as possible.
- Get active—physical activity helps control blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Get your kidneys tested every year.
- If you have CKD, meet with a dietitian to create a kidney-healthy eating plan. Ask your doctor for a referral.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON DIABETES, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND CHRONIC KIDNEY DISEASE, CONTACT:
National Kidney Disease Education Program (NKDEP)
National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP)
Michigan Diabetes Outreach Networks (MDON)
The American Diabetes Association
The American Heart Association