How come hearts get all the love? I mean, they are pretty important but so are our kidneys. Our kidneys work around the clock to keep our blood pressure in check and remove waste. If these vital organs stop working then our bodies will require dialysis or a transplant to keep us alive. So that’s why I want to urge you, especially us African American mama’s, to be the mouthpieces for kidney disease prevention in our families. *This post is sponsored by the National Kidney Foundation
Why Is This Important?
Kidney disease prevention is important to me for many reasons. One of those being, that African Americans are 3 times more likely to experience kidney failure.
My personal connection with kidney disease comes from my paternal grandmother. She died in 2014, at the age of 88, from End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) aka kidney failure.
I remember when she was first hospitalized with complications from kidney disease. When the doctor told her the diagnosis and what the treatment would involve, I remember her being adamant about not wanting to undergo dialysis. She really hated the hospital and didn’t want to have to go in for treatment. So from then on, it was a slow process of at home care, ending with her death in the summer of 2014.
I still wonder if dialysis and earlier lifestyle changes could have slowed things down and allowed her many more years with us. But I’ll never know. I know all of my family really miss her dearly.
The deaths of my grandmother and then my older brother a year and a half ago from heart failure, have really changed the way I look at both me and my family’s health. It has caused me to make some lifestyle changes. But there are a few things I’m still working on like having a better diet and incorporating more exercise into the day. So I’m right here in the trenches with you Star.
Make no mistakes though, kidney disease isn’t just an elderly disease. It’s something that affects 30 million people in the U.S. and 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for the disease. Things like age (over 60), high blood pressure, diabetes and a family history of kidney disease are all risk factors. If you have any of these risk factors you should be talking to your doctor and getting tested.
Here are a few ways to show some love to your kidneys
- Get regular checkups and talk to your primary doctor about any red flags
- Take a urine and/or blood test to see how well your kidneys are performing
- Make some lifestyle changes like incorporating a healthier diet and exercise
- Get educated about kidney disease and prevention
- Talk to your loved ones about prevention and getting tested
One of my hubby’s favorite football players of all time, Jerry Rice has something important to say about Kidney disease. Check out his PSA!
Let’s show our kidneys some love this year by getting those check-ups and educating our fam’s about kidney disease prevention. If you’d like to donate to the cause, here’s a link to the World Kidney Day fundraiser. Every amount counts! #HeartYourgram
When was the last time you checked on your kidneys?
Do you or your family share any of the risk factors?