Most humans are born with two kidneys, which rid the body of waste products and excess fluid, help in the regulation of the body’s water, salts and other chemicals in the blood, as well as remove drugs and toxins from the body. In addition to that, the kidneys help release hormones to the body that help to regulate the body’s blood pressure, make red blood cells and promote strong bones.
The leading causes of CKD are diabetes (44%) and high blood pressure (28%), as well as genetic and other causes.
Symptoms of CKD include anemia, edema (extra water); especially in the legs, ankles, face, and/or abdomen, changes in urination (more often or not as much), uremia build up, back or side pain, poor growth (especially in children), fatigue, metal taste in mouth, itchiness, strep throat, hypertension, diabetes; amongst others.
In the event that your kidneys stop working, your body will be unable to remove waste from your body, and you will now be diagnosed with end stage renal disease (ESRD) commonly referred to as kidney failure or Stage 5 CKD. Once diagnosed with ESRD, you’ll need dialysis or a kidney transplant to survive.
As a result of ESRD, the patient may suffer from cardiovascular diseases (heart attacks, strokes), a weakened immune system, weak and brittle bones, hyperkalemia (increased potassium in the blood), and malnourishment, pericarditis (inflammation of the sac-like membrane around your heart), anemia, malnurishment, and an overall lower quality of life.
Chronic Kidney Disease meets the criteria to be considered a public health issue. CKD as a condition, places a large burden on society (in this case especially, as quite a number of patients in the African migrant community are undocumented), the burden is distributed unfairly among the overall population, evidence exists that preventive strategies that target economic, political, and environmental factors could reduce the burden, and lastly but not the least, evidence shows such preventive strategies are not yet in place (especially in the African migrant community). The National Institute of Health estimates that by 2020, nearly 785,000 people will be receiving treatment for kidney failure, costing an estimated $53.6 billion.
Although there is a dearth in the data available of the number of African immigrants suffering from CKD in the U.S, the prevalence of CKD in the community and in the U.S as a whole is higher than a decade ago According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated +10% of adults in the United States (more than 20 million people), may have CKD of varying seriousness. This is partly due to the increasing prevalence of the related diseases of diabetes and hypertension; as well as an increase in obesity in the entire population. Chances of CKD increases after age 50, occurring more commonly in adults with 70 years of age and older. It is estimated that CKD affects about 26 million adult Americans (4), and the number of individuals in this country with CKD will have progressed to kidney failure, requiring chronic dialysis treatment or a kidney transplant to survive will grow to 712,290 by 2015 (2). Kidney disease is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S. Furthermore, a task force of the American Heart Association noted that decreased kidney function has consistently been found to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD) outcomes and will cause mortality, and that the increased risk is present with even mild reduction in kidney function.
Therefore, addressing kidney disease is a way to achieve one of the priorities in the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Healthcare; Promoting the Most Effective Prevention and Treatment of the Leading Causes of Mortality, Starting with Cardiovascular Disease.
Undetected CKD can lead to costly debilitating irreversible kidney failure. However, cost effective interventions are available if patients are identified in the early stages of CKD. Prevention and treatment of risk factors to CKD is the most efficient way of reducing personal suffering and financial cost of CKD. Proper treatment of individuals already diagnosed with ESD can slow down how quickly the disease progresses and can minimize complications.
Reasons to Get Tested For Chronic Kidney Disease
- You want to take an active role in your health care decisions
- You want to learn how your kidneys contribute to your overall health
- You want to learn how well your kidneys function or if you show sins of kidney impairment
- You have a family history of kidney disease
- You suffer from diabetes
- You suffer from high blood pressure
- You are overweight or obese
- You are over age 50
- You smoke tobacco
- You are of African American, Hispanic, and Native American decent
Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) is a measure of how well your kidneys are working. It measures the functioning of the filters in your kidney. Click on the following link to calculate your kidney function http://kidneytrust.org/learn/calculate-kidney-function/
With your support, The Iya Foundation, Inc is confident a feasible detection, surveillance and treatment program can be established to slow, and possibly prevent the progression of kidney disease in the African Immigrant community and in the United States as a whole. This will be done through screening of individuals at high risk of CKD such as those older than 50 years old, those with a history of diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and those with a family history of CKD.