In Iredell County, 17,572 people – many of them in Mooresville – should understand the importance of March 14.It’s World Kidney Day, and 17,572 is the number of people in our county who suffer with failing kidneys. In the U.S., one out of nine are affected by chronic kidney disease. All of March is dedicated to the mighty kidney, the way February honors that other vital organ, the heart.World Kidney Day is a joint initiative of the International Society of Nephrology and the International Federation of Kidney Foundations. Their mission statement is “to raise awareness of the importance of our kidneys to our overall health and to reduce the frequency and impact of kidney disease and its associated health problems worldwide.”On March 14, more than 100 nations on six continents will reach out, educate people and raise awareness about the job kidneys perform in our bodies every day.Most everyone is born with two kidneys, but sometimes a person is born with only one kidney and lives just fine without ever knowing it. A normal kidney weighs about 10 ounces and is about the size of a fist.Kidneys filter our blood to remove waste through urine. About 52 gallons of blood are filtered through our kidneys every day. Kidneys help regulate our blood pressure and release the hormones that help make red blood cells and keep our bones healthy. The most common reasons for kidney failure are untreated high blood pressure and diabetes. Dr. Jean-Claude Hyppolite of Kidney Care P.C. in Mooresville said you should ask your doctor a question on your annual visit: “Ask your primary-care physician, ‘How are my kidneys doing?’ Patients themselves have to take responsibility for themselves. Keep your eyes open about how your kidney function is doing and don’t wait until the last minute.”Dr. Wolfgang Lohrmann, also with Kidney Care P.C., said, “The advice I am most dear with is to let people to know how important it is to see their primary physician yearly and to see them for blood work. Kidney disease is mostly a very silent disease; much can be prevented with good blood pressure control, good sugar control for diabetes, good exercise and physical activity.“A good physician can do … simple things to prevent severe problems in the future. A routine basic chemistry test … includes a creatinine level. More important is seeing your physician and getting a physical that checks blood pressure and checks glucose level for any signs of diabetes,” Lohrmann said. A good physician is one that prevents you from getting into trouble in the future.“The tremendous need of kidney patients here led to the formation of the Iredell County Kidney Coalition in March 2010. It helps with many of the issues faced by chronic kidney disease patients. The coalition officers are Candy Whiteside, chairwoman, Erin Osetek, co-chairwoman, Betsy Smith, secretary, and Judy Ritter, treasurer.On April 14, the second annual Kidney Walk will be from 2 to 5 p.m. at Statesville High School to raise money for the Kidney Coalition. The coalition is seeking volunteers to help with the event. “It’s always good to have an extra set of hands there,” said Whiteside. During March, and especially on World Kidney Day, honor the amazing human body by respecting the power of your kidneys. Whiteside, who is a a nurse practitioner, advised, “Take care of your kidneys and they will take care of you.”
Friday, Mar. 01, 2013
Iredell coalition using World Kidney Day to raise awareness about disease
Suzanne Ruff is a freelance writer for Mooresville News and a living kidney donor. Have a story idea for Suzanne? Email her at email@example.com.
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