Kidney Smart: Educating patients and helping them create an action plan to better manage their kidney health
(BPT) - One in 10 adults over the age of 20 has kidney disease. Most are unaware of their condition, as the disease is often symptomless until its late stages. A kidney disease diagnosis may feel overwhelming, but early education can help patients overcome those fears and feel more prepared.
There are several causes of kidney disease. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney disease, responsible for approximately 44 percent of all kidney failure cases.
Diabetes and high blood pressure are sometimes called “silent killers,” because many don’t know they have these diseases; therefore they are not getting treatment. Uncontrolled diabetes and/or uncontrolled high blood pressure can lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD). Below are facts to note:
* 6 percent of the U.S. population has diabetes, the number one cause of kidney disease
* One in four Americans has high blood pressure, the second leading cause of kidney disease
In a no-cost Kidney Smart class, patients get information to help them create a plan that may fit their lifestyle and will help them better manage their kidney health. These 90-minute classes are led by certified instructors, such as nurses and dietitians.
Educators guide patients through their personalized action plans and share:
* What causes kidney disease and how to slow its progression
* What diet resources are available to help patients manage their diet and cook a variety of flavorful, kidney-friendly meals
* Why continuing to work may keep patients happier and healthier
* How insurance counselors can help patients navigate any coverage or financial questions
“Kidney Smart educates over 35,000 patients every year through our national network of over 2,000 educators,” says Veronica Garza, Kidney Smart educator. “Knowledge is power and this program empowers patients with tools and resources that help them live a better quality of life while managing kidney disease.”
Kidney Smart education helps patients in choosing the best treatment for their lifestyle. By educating patients on all treatment options, including vascular access options, it gives patients the knowledge to choose the treatment that is right for them. Treatment choices can have an impact on a patient’s risk of hospitalization and complications.
Kidney Smart classes are open to the community and take place in cities across the U.S. Online classes are also available for those who prefer learning from home at KidneySmart.org.
Call 1-888-MY-KIDNEY or visit KidneySmart.org for more details.