Are your kidneys healthy? Temple offers checkups

March 12, 2013 3:48:42 PM PDT
On Thursday, World Kidney Day, Temple University Health System will hold a free health fair, including checkups to see if your kidneys are healthy.

The health fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Faculty Center of the Health Sciences Center at Broad & Ontario streets.

The fair will offer free health screenings, including blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) readings, to help determine their risk for kidney disease.

There will also be a cooking demonstration by a Pillsbury Bake-off finalist, Zumba workouts, and free prizes and giveaways.

Dr. Crystal A. Gadegbeku, Chief of Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation at Temple University Hospital, says 1 in 6 Philadelphia area residents has kidney disease, much higher than the national average. More than 26 million Americans already have kidney disease, but most don't know it.

Diabetes is the biggest cause, and high blood pressure is the second bigest cause.

Dr. Gadegbeku says, "African Americans, Hispanics and certain Native Americans are significantly susceptible to kidney disease. Elderly patients are also at higher risk."

"Most important, adults should have regular check-ups with their doctor and those at higher risk should be screened with urine and blood tests to assess kidney function," she continues.

Dr. Gadegbeku says unfortunately, there are no warning signs to look for.

"This is the problem with this disease. It is a silent disease until it is way too late for doctors to have an impact," she says.

During National Kidney Month, the NKF offers 5 simple kidney disease prevention tips:

1. Sit less and stand more. Recent research has linked sitting for 8 hours or more a day with developing kidney disease.

2. Exercise and lose weight. Diabetes is responsible for 44% of all new cases of kidney failure. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are on the rise and can often be treated and reversed with physical activity and weight loss.

3. Manage high blood pressure. Both considered silent killers, many people don't realize that high blood pressure and kidney disease are inextricably linked. Controlling blood pressure levels can prevent kidney damage and failure.

4. Avoid long term use of kidney-toxic drugs such as over the counter (OTC ) pain medications (aspirin, acetaminophen and NSAIDS) .

5. Get tested! Ask your healthcare provider for an annual urine test to check for protein in the urine, one of the earliest signs of kidney disease, and a blood test for creatinine

For more information, check out the National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org or the National Kidney Disease Education Program


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