Kidney Disease

The Silent Killer

Across the United States, an estimated 37 million have chronic kidney disease (CKD). That is more than 1 in 7 adult Americans. As many as 9 out of 10 with CKD do not know they have CKD. In Mississippi, the rate of CKD is even higher.

  • Mississippi ranks among the top in the nation in incidences of kidney disease.
  • African Americans are four times more likely to develop kidney disease than white Americans.
  • Jackson has a 26% higher prevalence of kidney failure than the national average.
  • Jackson has a 7% higher rate of newly diagnosed cases of kidney failure than the national average.
  • More than 75% of African Americans in Jackson who have kidney failure also have diabetes or hypertension.

Kidney disease can be a silent killer. There are often no symptoms until the disease has progressed to the latest stages. By the time it is diagnosed, patients are often in End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) and require dialysis or transplant to live.

Are You at Risk?

If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of kidney disease, you are considered at risk. Additionally, African American and Hispanic individuals are at greater risk for developing CKD. Talk to your doctor about the tests available to measure kidney function: 1) a urine test to check for protein in the urine, and 2) a blood test to check your creatinine level. From this, your GFR (glomerular filtration rate) can be calculated.

Benefits of Early Detection

Although there is no cure for kidney disease, early detection provides the greatest chance of slowing the progression. Managing diabetes and blood pressure with medication, exercise, and nutrition are key to improving outcomes.

Five Stages of Kidney Disease

Stages 1 and 2 … Stages 1 and 2 usually have no symptoms to indicate that the kidneys are damaged. People are usually diagnosed through being tested for other conditions such as high blood pressure or diabetes, which are the two leading causes of kidney disease.

Stage 3 … Symptoms may develop in Stage 3, such as puffy eyes or swollen hands and feet. Changes in urination (more frequent urination, burning during urination, or bloody urination) may also be a sign of Stage 3, along with pain in the small of back and fatigue. It is recommended that you see a kidney specialist (nephrologist) at Stage 3.

Stage 4 … Stage 4 patients have advanced kidney damage. Additional symptoms from Stage 3 may include nausea, difficulty in concentrating, loss of appetite or metallic taste in mouth.

Stage 5 … Stage 5 patients are in kidney failure. Treatment includes dialysis or transplantation.