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31 Days and Ways to Raise Awareness!

March is National Kidney Month. March 13th is World Kidney Day. We want to challenge you to find a way -every day- to raise awareness for this silent killer. Every day during the month of March we will post tips, tools, and resources. 

March 1st- The National Kidney Foundation is sharing a graphic about World Kidney Day. Feel free to print and share. http://www.kidney.org/images/carousel/march2014/World%20Kidney%20Day%20Info%20Graphic%20final%20Q.pdf

March 2nd- Early detection and simple methods may help slow or delay the progression of kidney disease. Have a yearly check up with your doctor. Work with your doctor to manage diabetes (lood sugar levels) and high blood pressure. DCI wants to help people keep their kidney function and stay off of dialysis. DCI started Reach Kidney Care to help. 

March 3rd- What you eat may impact your kidney health. For those with kidney disease, not yet kidney failure, work with your doctor and a dietician to find the right diet for you. Remember to avoid foods high in salt (high sodium). For those with kidney failure, work with your doctor or dietician to avoid foods high in salt, potassium, and phosphorus. Also, with kidney failure, it's essential to know how much fluid is safe for you to have on a daily basis.

Check out our renal friendly cookbook- http://www.dciinc.org/uploads/file/cookbook-v4%20final%20version%20(2).pdf

Also, find helpful food sheets at the bottom of the following page- http://www.dciinc.org/nutrition.php. 

March 4th- If you are at risk for kidney disease, do you know your options for treatment? While we hope that no one experiences kidney failure, we realize the importance of preparing for kidney failure. 
Ask yourself, "If my kidneys failed tomorrow, what are my options for treatment?" What would you choose? Hemodialysis (in a clinic or at home), Peritoneal Dialysis, a Transplant, or no treatment? Learn about the advantages and challenges of these options at:

Hemodialysis: http://www.dciinc.org/hemodialysis.php
Peritoneal Dialysis (PD): http://www.dciinc.org/peritonial.php
Transplant: http://www.dciinc.org/transplant.php
No Treatment: http://www.dciinc.org/notreatment.php

March 5th- Are you talking to your doctor about your kidney health during your annual physical? Remember that kidney disease is a silent killer, so you may not see the signs or symptoms until it is too late. Use the Kidney Checklist for Your Annual Physical offered by the National Kidney Foundation to get the conversation started with your doctor.

March 6th- Talk to your friends and family about getting a free kidney screening. The National Kidney Foundation is offering free screenings around the country. Search for a screening location by zip code here: 

March 7th- Communication is key among medical professionals in order to provide the best possible care to patients. Check out the article published by the Mayo Clinic Proceedings in Feb. 2009, "The Top 10 Things Nephrologists Wish Every Primary Care Physician Knew".

March 8th- If you are facing kidney disease, you may be wondering whether or not to continue working. While you will need to evaluate the tasks you should and shouldn't do with your doctor, more often than not, work is encouraged. Learn more about commonly asked employment questions at:

If you are receiving social security benefits based on disability consider the Ticket to Work  Program which offers specialized services such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training. http://www.choosework.net/about/how-it-works/index.html

March 9th- Don't let kidney disease keep you from seeing the world! You can still travel. Check out commonly asked questions and answers at:

March 10th- There is no cure for kidney failure, simply treatment. Transplant is a treatment option that helps many to live a life much like they experienced before kidney failure. If you are medically eligible and lucky enough to find a donor, you will need to take immunosuppressant drugs to keep the donor kidney from being rejected. Proposed legislation to stop funding immunosuppressant drugs with Medicare Part D was rejected today. Learn more here http://on.wsj.com/1h8xUsV

March 11th- Kidney disease is often a family affair.If you are a medical professional diagnosing a person with chronic kidney disease make sure to share facts with the rest of the family.Share NKDEP's family reunion guide to get the conversation started: http://nkdep.nih.gov/get-involved/talk-with-family.shtml

March 12th- Practice what you preach. There is no better way to explain the importance of health care than by demonstrating the importance. Be able to show family, friends, co-workers, and patients how you are taking steps to improve your health. Jen Walker, part of the DCI team in Omaha, had her kidney check-up in honor of National Kidney Month. 


March 13th- Do you know why the kidneys are so important? Take three minutes and watch the video in the following link. 

March 14th- Did you know that kidney disease kills more people each year than breast and prostate cancer combined? Talk to your doctor about your kidney health.

March 15th- Did you know that according to recent estimates from researchers at Johns Hopkins University, more than 50% of seniors over the age of 75 are believed to have kidney disease? As we age, we naturally begin to lose kidney function.

March 16th- A kidney transplant is a form of treatment for kidney failure that may help restore a person's quality of life. However, a transplant is not alway easy to come by. More than 120,000 Americans are on the national organ transplant waitlist and more than 98,000 are waiting for a life-saving kidney. Register to be an organ donor and save a life.
Register to be an organ donor at: http://donatelife.net/

March 17th- Receiving an organ from the waiting list can take a great deal of time. The fact is when you are on the waiting list for an organ, factors considered are: severity of your illness, length of time on the waiting list, blood type, and other important medical information. Factors that are not considered are financial or celebrity status.

March 18th- Finding a tasty meal that is kidney friendly can be a challenge. Check out the stuffed peppers at http://www.kidneybuzz.com/daily-impact-meal/2014/3/20/una-stuffed-peppers.

March 19th- If you have Chronic Kidney Disease, consider cooking with hempseed or flaxseed oil. Both oils have the potential for considerable health benefits. According to a study in Reuters on Feb. 12, 2014, "With an ideal ratio of omega-6 and -3 fatty acids and some plant chemicals thought to lower high blood pressure, hempseed oil has potential as part of a heart-healthy diet, according to Spanish researchers." Also, human trials with flaxseed has shown significant blood pressure lowering effects. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/11/us-hempseed-oil-study-idUSBREA1A1XS20140211


March 20th- It's Spring! Did you know sunshine has surprising effects on those with Chronic Kidney Disease? "A study published May 9th, 2013 found that "sunshine may do more than boost vitamin D levels it could also help to reduce blood pressure, which in turn could cut the risk of heart attack and stroke." More recently, studies found that vitamin D deficiency was not only common in the Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) community, but was also "strongly associated with Cardiovascular risk in CKD patients. To further connect the dots, Cardiovascular Disease is the major cause of death in those with CKD."
Learn more here:

March 21st- Is everyone getting equal education and access to treatment options for kidney failure? Emory epidemiologist Rachel Patzer, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in surgery, says that many eligible patients are not being referred for kidney transplantation. To address treatment disparities and help patients understand the best treatment option for their individual cases, Patzer and her team created theiCHOOSE Kidney iPad application. The iCHOOSE Kidney app is a shared-decision making tool for providers or clinicians to use with their patients to inform them about potential risks and benefits of each treatment. "The app basically walks you through different risks for treatment options," Patzer says. Learn more at: http://news.emory.edu/stories/2014/03/ichoose_kidney/campus.html.

March 22nd- To improve the future of care for patients with kidney failure, we must rely on research to find new and improved methods for treatment. Without research, we stand still. DCI is a non-profit dialysis provider committed to research and improving the future of kidney care. Unfortunately, funding from the public and private sector is at an all-time low. Support research initiatives in your area. http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/early/2014/03/19/ASN.2013121313.abstract


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