Get the unfiltered truth about the serious conditions associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD)
If you are one of the 37 million Americans living with chronic kidney disease (CKD), then it’s time for an honest conversation about some of the potentially serious conditions associated with the disease that can impact your life. Unfiltered Kidney Conversations is providing resources and sharing stories of people who have gone through similar journeys with CKD to help you learn how to talk with your doctor about these conditions so you can find a more confident path forward in your treatment.
CKD is known as a "silent disease" because people don't always experience symptoms in its early stages. As CKD progresses, patients face an increased risk of developing other potentially serious conditions that can make it more difficult to manage the disease.
But here's the thing. Talking with your doctor can help you plan ahead in case you experience other conditions associated with CKD, including anemia and hyperkalemia. Understanding more about these conditions can help you and your healthcare provider make better decisions today for your future tomorrow.
Anemia is a condition in which the blood doesn't have enough red blood cells, which reduces the oxygen flow throughout the body. When your body is deprived of oxygen, it can leave you feeling drained or exhausted, both physically and mentally. CKD increases the risk of developing anemia because the kidneys struggle to produce an important hormone for red blood cells. Anemia of CKD must be taken seriously because, if severe or left untreated, it may increase the risk of hospitalization and may even be fatal. Talk with your doctor about your risks and the steps you can take to regain your vitality.
An estimated 4.8 million adults in the US had anemia of CKD in 2007-2010.*
*In an analysis of national survey results from 2007-2010, the prevalence of anemia in US adults was 15.4% in people with CKD which represents an estimated 4.8 million adults.
I love my body and all it does for me. My body is strong.
I am resilient. I am a warrior.
– Crystal K., CKD patient since 1995
Hyperkalemia is when the blood has higher than normal potassium levels, which may cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, or irregular heart beat. People living with CKD are at an elevated risk for hyperkalemia because their kidneys can't remove excess potassium in their blood. Diet plays a critical role in hyperkalemia because many foods contain potassium. This means that challenges of managing hyperkalemia may get in the way of eating what you love. Start a conversation with your doctor about things you can do to help manage your potassium levels so you can start to feel more in control.
It's estimated that hyperkalemia affected approximately 3.7 million adults in the US in 2014.*
*In one study the overall prevalence of hyperkalemia in adults in the US in 2014 was estimated to be approximately 1.6%. The prevalence was higher in individuals with CKD compared to the overall population.
CKD won’t hold me down.
I made the decision to live and love life.
– James F., CKD patient since 2018
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