National Kidney Week: A Personal Journey Through Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness

National Kidney Week: A Personal Journey Through Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness

National Kidney Week: A Personal Journey Through Chronic Kidney Disease Awareness

This National Kidney Week, I want to share a story that's deeply personal and a cause that's immensely important to me – the journey through Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). As someone in stage 3 of CKD and who has lost a beloved mother to this relentless condition, I understand the challenges, fears, and the urgent need for awareness and action.

Understanding Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

Chronic Kidney Disease is a progressive loss in kidney function over a period of months or years. Each of your kidneys has about a million tiny filters, called nephrons. If these filters get damaged, your kidneys may stop removing wastes and excess fluids from your body; the damage can get worse over time leading to chronic kidney disease.

Key Facts About CKD:

  • Prevalence: Over 37 million American adults are estimated to have CKD, and the majority are unaware of their condition.
  • Risk Factors: Diabetes and high blood pressure are two major risk factors for developing CKD. Obesity, smoking, cardiovascular disease, and a family history of kidney failure are other significant risks.
  • Impact: CKD can escalate to kidney failure, necessitating dialysis or a kidney transplant. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

A Personal Battle and a Collective Fight

My journey with CKD has been fraught with challenges. In stage 3, the disease is moderately severe, and while life has significantly altered, hope and determination prevail. The loss of my mother to CKD was a profound wake-up call, emphasizing the urgency of awareness, early detection, and management.

The Importance of Weight Management in CKD

Obesity is a known risk factor for developing CKD and can exacerbate the progression of the disease. Managing weight is crucial for individuals like me, living with CKD, to slow its progression and maintain overall health.

Advocating for Change: The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act

The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act is a beacon of hope for many of us. It proposes to expand Medicare coverage to include more services for weight management, vital for CKD patients. Nutritionists, dietitians, and other healthcare providers can offer their expertise, helping patients manage their weight more effectively and improve their kidney health.

Why This Act Matters

  • Enhanced Access to Care: By supporting this act, we can ensure that patients receive comprehensive support, including dietary counseling and obesity treatment.
  • Improved CKD Management: Effective weight management can help slow down the progression of CKD, reducing the risk of kidney failure.
  • A Call to Action: This National Kidney Week, let's unite to advocate for the passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act. By doing so, we support not just those with CKD but all at risk of this disease due to obesity.

In Conclusion

National Kidney Week is not just a time to raise awareness but a call to action. As someone navigating the complexities of CKD and having experienced its impact firsthand, I urge everyone to recognize the seriousness of this disease. Let's advocate for better healthcare policies, support research in kidney health, and promote awareness to prevent and manage CKD.

Your voice matters. Together, we can fight for a future where CKD is no longer a silent threat but a manageable condition with the support and care it demands.

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