It’s well known that diabetes and hypertension are prevalent in the United States. However, many people don’t realize these diseases are also the leading causes of chronic kidney disease (CKD). More than 26 million Americans have CKD, and millions more are at increased risk and may not even know it. During National Kidney Month in March, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, urges people at risk for CKD to be aware of the symptoms of the disease and how to help slow its progression. CKD is a progressive, usually permanent loss of kidney function. Many people who have CKD are still in the early stages of the disease, but by the time CKD leads to kidney failure, or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), the only treatments are a kidney transplant or dialysis. Some of the early symptoms of kidney disease include changes in urination; swelling of the face, hands and/or feet; feeling more tired than usual; nausea and vomiting; headache, dizziness; severe itching; shortness of breath; loss of appetite; and high blood pressure. “In the early stages of kidney disease many people do not show any symptoms, which is why screening tests are so important,” said Dugan W. Maddux, MD, FACP, vice president, Chronic Kidney Disease Initiatives at FMCNA. “It is much better to know early if you have CKD because there are often interventions that can slow its progression.” 5 Tips to Help Slow the Progression of Kidney Disease During National Kidney Month, FMCNA urges people at risk for kidney disease to follow these five tips that may help detect and slow the progression of the disease: 1. Make sure you are screened for CKD if you have diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease or a family history of kidney disease.
2. Be compliant with your prescribed medications.3. Eat a healthy diet and exercise daily. 4. Maintain an “ideal” body weight. 5. If you have CKD, educate yourself on how to manage your disease and actively work with your healthcare team. Some people can live with kidney disease under a doctor’s care for a long time before they reach end-stage kidney disease, while others progress more quickly. In either case, it’s important to be compliant with your medical appointments and talk regularly with your healthcare team. FMCNA has created several education programs to help inform patients and their families to better understand CKD and treatment options. The company’s Treatment Options Program (TOPs) educational sessions are open to the public at no cost, and provide information about kidney disease management and the treatments available when CKD leads to kidney failure. To find a class near you, call toll-free 1-877-TOPS-LIFE (1-877-867-7543) or visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com/TOPS (in English and Spanish). About Fresenius Medical Care Fresenius Medical Care (NYSE: FMS) is the world’s leading company devoted to patient-oriented renal therapy. Through nearly 2,900 clinics in North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia-Pacific and Africa, we provide kidney dialysis treatments to approximately 228,000 patients worldwide. We are also the world’s leading maker of dialysis products such as hemodialysis machines, dialyzers and related disposable products. Chronic kidney failure is a condition that affects about 2 million individuals worldwide. For more information about the company’s more than 1,800 U.S. dialysis facilities, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com (in English and Spanish). For more information about Fresenius Medical Care, visit www.fmc-ag.com or www.fmcna.com.